The Battle of Marathon in Scholarship

Research, Theories and Controversies Since 1850

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About the Book

This is a thorough historiographic review of the Battle of Marathon. Full use is made of the major ancient sources and the debate over the value of Herodotus. The book covers the rise of the Persian Empire, relations between the Greeks and the Persian Empire and the Ionian revolt that set the stage for the Persian expedition in 490 that led to the Battle of Marathon. The book also examines the development of the Persian and Greek military systems, weapons, armor, fighting styles and military tactics. The battle itself is described along with the many questions, controversies and conflicting theories surrounding it, including an explanation of why the Athenians were able to defeat the mighty Persian Empire. The final chapter deals with the issue of the importance of the battle. The 1190 endnotes and bibliography of more than 400 sources dating from the 1850s to 2012 will allow readers to do more research on any of the topics covered.

About the Author(s)

Dennis L. Fink is a supervisor of student teachers of history at Northern Illinois University. He lives in Plainfield, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Dennis L. Fink
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7973-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1534-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1—The Major Ancient Sources Evaluated 3
2—The Persian Military 14
3—The Greek Military
4—The Rise of Persia 62
5—The Ionian Revolt 79
6—Greece and Persia, 492-490 BCE 109
7—The Battle 116
8—The Importance of the Battle of Marathon 188
Chapter Notes 191
Bibliography 217
Index 227

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “this is an excellent work about one of the defining events in the rise of the West.”—The NYMAS Review
  • “clearly a labor of love. The author’s passion for the subject is apparent from beginning to end”—H-Net Reviews