"Battle of Marathon" This essay talks about the great Battle of Marathon during the Persian Wars in ancient Greece 490 BCE

1405 Words Feb 16th, 2003 6 Pages
In 490 B.C.E. the Battle of Marathon was a brief but important event in the war between the Greek city-states and The Persian Empire. The results of the battle had unforeseen effects on Athens and the future of Western Civilization. The Greek 'Golden Age', centred in Athens, brought about new forms of art, the foundations of future philosophy and redirected literature and drama. The achievements of the Athenians during this period were directly connected to the inspiration and prestige (which later translated into power) fuelled by the events at Marathon. How the events of a single day changed the entire course of Western Civilization is hard to fathom but obvious when one looks at the aftermath of that fateful event.

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The victory at Marathon and the successful defence of the city, gave the Athenians a sense of moral superiority and pride. In later battles of the Persian War, at Thermopylai and Salamis, the highly regarded Spartans and those of the Peloponnese were largely in control of strategic moves. Although still a major force in every battle, Athens and her allies were outnumbered and thus followed Spartan command. After the second occupation of Athens after the battle of Salamis, the Athenians gave Sparta an ultimatum due to a lack of Spartan support. "If the Peloponnesians wanted Athens' navy, they must save Athens' land." Because the Athenians had more damage to recover from it brought stronger confidence and overall pride for them once the city got back on its feet. The Spartans, Corinthians and other Peloponnesian allies now had reason to fear Athens growing naval power and its capabilities now that the city was repaired and invigorated with a renewed sense of pride. This is the point that we see the beginnings of a shift in the balance of power and influence between the city-states. When the Ionian states adopted the Athenians as leaders, as opposed to the Spartans who had been pre-eminent for a long time, the rise of the Athenian influence began to show. For the purpose of protecting all Greeks from a further Persian attack, a league was formed, of which Athens was now the leader. The league included

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