Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

Athenians on the beach of Marathon. Modern re-enactment of the battle (2011) (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Marathon Greece: Nenikekamen, We Are Victorious!

 ‘Nenikekmen / We are victorious’ cried Pheidippides as he stumbled exhausted into Athens’ agora, after running over the mountain, to announce their victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. In a sense this cry heralded the victory of democracy over tyranny and despotism. A panoramic view of the plains of Marathon on the east coast of Attica, once covered with fennel (marathos) may not be the most picturesque landscape of Greece, but it is best known for the Battle of Marathon.

The Plains of Marathon by John Varley (1834) (Public Domain)

The Plains of Marathon by John Varley (1834) (Public Domain)

Mythology of Marathon

Yet, drawing back the curtain of the mist of mythology, the history of these plains can be traced to the lineage of Erechtheus, (circa 1397–1347 BC) sixth king of Athens.  Two of the daughters of Erechtheus, were married to kings of the eastern region of Attica; one was Procris, married to King Kephalus of Thorikos and the other was Creusa, married to Xuthus, King of Marathon.

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