history: Battle of Marathon



Did you know that the term marathon actually comes from an ancient battle?


Okay, so I did, but that’s partially because I watched “The First Olympics,” and partially because I’m a history nerd, and know these mostly useless facts.


The Battle of Marathon was one of those battles that you go into it expecting to lose.  After all, the Persians under Darius 1 had a lot more men, and were more battle hardened, but the Athenians had an advantage.


You know that home court advantage, where they really don’t want to lose their home.


So, they won.


Yep, they beat the army that was more than double their size, but the battle took place 26 miles from Athens, and they were afraid the Persian army would just sail off to Athens and say, “We won, give us all your money,” and the Athenians wouldn’t know otherwise.


You’re listening to all of this and going, “Okay, Ticia what does this have to do with anything?”  I’m getting there.


So, the commander sent one of his messengers, who had already run over to Sparta and back that day, but it was his best messenger.  And sent him to run back to Athens and beat the ships.


He did, and delivered his message, and collapsed dead after delivering it.  Thus setting a precedent for all movies with a messenger to die dramatically after delivering his crucial message.


Oh, wait was that rather sarcastic?  Oops.


So, to truly understand how that man felt I had the kids run a mini-marathon.  Okay, it was to the mailbox and back.  But still, I didn’t let them stop until they started crying.


I know, I’m a mean Mom.  I made my daughter cry.


But, they did understand how hard the run was.


And then, after I read this I thought, “I think over at All Things Beautiful she has some great Ancient Greece lessons, I’m going to see what she did.”  So, I headed over there and she did have a great activity for this lesson, and I’m so going to use her suggestions for some future lessons.  Actually I already did, I used it today on the day I’m writing this, which will be yesterday from when you’re writing it.


Sooooo…….  Jeff has said I really shouldn’t spend more time drooling over the site I discovered from her lesson, I think he’s tired of hearing about all the cool soldier miniatures I found.

8 thoughts on “history: Battle of Marathon

  1. I remember reading about it as a child and being so upset about the messenger. I find it amazing that so many people enjoy long-distance running today – I guess we are much better fed than ancient Greeks.

  2. I don't understand why anyone would choose to run a marathon – even though I have family and friends who have done it, more than once.

    I bet your kids remember this lesson!

  3. awesome….and this is why there are so many ambulances awaiting imminent problems during marathons! Since I'm completed 3 and haven't collapsed yet, I think I surpass the ancient giants don't ya think?

  4. Thanks for the history lesson. I did not know the story behind marathon.
    If you are a mean mommy, then I am…well let's just say really, really bad. 😛

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