By Peter Krentz

ISBN-10: 0300120850

ISBN-13: 9780300120851

How did the city-state of Athens defeat the invaders from Persia, the 1st global empire, at the undeniable of Marathon in 490 BCE? shrewdpermanent students skeptical of our earliest surviving resource, Herodotus, have produced one creative concept after one other. during this stimulating new ebook, certain to galvanize controversy, Peter Krentz argues that Herodotus was once correct after all.

Beginning his research with the Athenians’ first formal contact with the Persians in 507 BCE, Krentz weaves jointly historic facts with tourists’ descriptions, archaeological discoveries, geological surveys, and the studies of contemporary reenactors and infantrymen to inform his story.

Krentz argues that ahead of Marathon the Athenian military fought in a far much less equipped manner than the normal view of the hoplite phalanx indicates: as an irregularly armed mob instead of a disciplined formation of identically outfitted infantry. At Marathon the Athenians built all their combatants, together with archers and horsemen, as hoplites for the 1st time. simply because their apparatus weighed basically part up to is generally suggestion, the Athenians and their Plataean allies may possibly cost nearly a mile at a run, as Herodotus says they did. Krentz improves in this account in Herodotus by way of displaying why the Athenians desired to do one of these dicy factor.

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The relief at Bisitun shows Darius, standing with his foot on the chest of one recumbent rebel, facing a line of smaller rebel leaders, chained together at their necks (Figure 14). Darius continued to portray himself as a warrior throughout his reign. 14 Several projects illustrated Darius’ power in monumental form. He built his own new palaces at Persepolis and Babylon, then rebuilt the palace at Susa and continued Cyrus’ construction at Pasargadae. He finished the canal from the Nile River to the Red Sea begun a century earlier, a canal that was almost 150 feet wide, 16 feet deep, and 50 miles long.

Stone watercourses irrigated exotic flora. Such a formal garden would have put a Persian stamp on the Sardian landscape. The fortification walls surely impressed the Athenian visitors. At the time of the Persian conquest, Sardis had a massive wall, larger than any contemporary wall in Greece: 65 feet wide at the base, as much as 115 feet tall, built of mud brick on a stone socle that kept the brick from getting wet and turning back into mud. In the excavated section, this wall was demolished in the mid-sixth century and rebuilt on top of the destruction debris.

An archer’s effective range extended to at least 175–190 yards. The most revealing bit of literary evidence is Herodotus’ statement that the Persians shot fire arrows from the Areopagos hill in Athens to the barricades at the gate of the Acropolis, a distance of about 500 feet with a vertical rise of about 100 feet. Those archers could have shot a regular arrow at least 250 yards on a level field. They may have been selected for their strength, but if common archers could reach three-quarters of that distance, they could shoot 190 yards.

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The Battle of Marathon by Peter Krentz

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