Greek Victory at the Battle of Marathon

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Reasons for Greek Victory at the Battle of Marathon There are a number of reasons that contributed to the Greek victory in the Battle of Marathon. The Greeks knowledge of their landforms, the superior weapons and armour of the Greeks, superior strategies and tactics, the absence of the Persian cavalry and the leadership and role of Miltiades all contributed to the defeat of the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. One of the major reasons for the Greek victory at Marathon was the knowledge the Greeks had of their land and the way they used it against the weaknesses of the Persian army. The Athenians took up a position in the foothills of Mount Agriliki at the southern end of the plain, barring the way to Athens. Here they were joined by a group of 1000 hoplites from the Boeotian town of Plateau. The Athenian army was protected by a stockade of felled trees which protected them from the attacks of the Persian cavalry. The Greeks also had a massive advantage in hand to hand combat with heavy defensive armour and close combat weapons. This included greaves to protect the lower legs, a breastplate or cuirass made of many layers of linen and a helmet. Each hoplite was armed with a spear and sword and carried a shield or hoplon. The shield covered the left side of the bearer’s body and protected the right side of the hoplite standing next to them. They fought hand to hand. The Persians on the hand were used to fighting from a long distance and used the bow as their main weapon. Because they did not grapple in hand to hand combat they possessed little or no armour and only carried wicker shields. This meant that the Persians were at a massive disadvantage from the outset of the battle with their cavalry neutralised by the high position of the Greeks. Leadership and strategy also played a key role in the defeat of the Persians at Marathon with Callimachus, as elected

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