Useful facts and dates of Persian History may be summarised as follows:
— 1. Capture of Babylon by Medo-Persians under Cyrus (Is. xlv. 1), establishing Persian Empire, B.C. 538.
2.First year of Cyrus, decree to rebuild the Temple, B.C. 535.
3. Second year of Darius, Temple building recommenced after interruption under Artaxerxes, B.C.520.
4. The Athenians having invaded Persian territory and burned Sardis, Darius, in revenge, sends an army into Attica, which suffers total rout at Marathon, B.C. 490.
5. Xerxes “stirs up his whole realm against Greece”, which he invades and is completely defeated,B.C. 480.
6. The internal weakness of the Persian Empire rendered evident by the Expedition of the 10,000 Greeks, B.C. 400.
7. Persian Empire overthrown by Alexander, ” the mighty king “, B.C. 331.
W. J. Young
- Battle of Marathon: fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes in 490 BC during the first Persian invasion of Greece. The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars.
- The Battle of Marathon was a watershed in the Greco-Persian wars, showing the Greeks that the Persians could be beaten; the eventual Greek triumph in these wars can be seen to have begun at Marathon. The battle also showed the Greeks that they were able to win battles without the Spartans, as they had heavily relied on Sparta previously. This victory was largely due to the Athenians, and Marathon raised Greek esteem of them. The following two hundred years saw the rise of the Classical Greek civilization, which has been enduringly influential in Western society and so the Battle of Marathon is often seen as a pivotal moment in Mediterranean and European history.
- According to Herodotus, an Athenian runner named Pheidippides was sent to run from Athens to Sparta to ask for assistance before the battle. He ran a distance of over 225 kilometers (140 miles), arriving in Sparta the day after he left. Then, following the battle, the Athenian army marched the 40 kilometers (25 miles) or so back to Athens at a very high pace (considering the quantity of armour, and the fatigue after the battle), in order to head off the Persian force sailing around Cape Sounion. They arrived back in the late afternoon, in time to see the Persian ships turn away from Athens, thus completing the Athenian victory. (> Marathon race)