the battle of marathon
The city of Athens was a thriving and wonderful city. It also
had a very small army and no king or queen. Many other kings from far away eyed
Athens as a prize colony to add to their kingdoms. So one day the far away Asian
country of Persia took action and sent their army out to capture Athens. Of course, when
the Athenians heard of this they were extremely scared. They asked other cities for help.
One city agreed to help and sent their army to Athens, but they were weak and the
Athenians did not think it would help too much. They were particularly hoping to have the
war city of Sparta help them in battle, but they were in the middle of a month-long
festival to pray to Pan, the god of nature and wildlife, and a god sacred to the
Spartans. During this festival they could not go into battle or else Pan would
become angry at their disobedience. However, they promised to pray to Pan to help
the Athenians. Pan heard them and promised to send a disease to afflict the Persian
army. This did not comfort the Athenians much, but the Persian army was drawing
nearer and they had to fight. An Athenian general devised a war plan the night
before the Persian attack that was original and had never been used before.
The next morning, a battle began at the Battlefield of Marathon. The plan worked well, and confused the Persian Army. Then, the Athenians saw the Persian soldiers were breaking their ranks and nothing could get them back to order. When the Persian army had been confused and worried, the disease Pan had promised suddently attacked. This disease still exists today. It is called panic. The Persian army was easily defeated and one Athenian soldier, who also happened to be a runner, went and told the citizens of Athens of the victory. The distance from the Battlefield of Marathon to Athens, which can be confirmed today if you ever go to Greece, is 26.3 miles. The run to the city was historic in its own little way. How do you think marathons of today were named?
When the runner finally reached the steps to the city of Athens, he could run no farther. He collapsed on the ground and said a final word, "Nike!" This means victory in Greek. Then he died.