Near Athens, in the field of Marathon, the Persians were deployed. Opposite them the Athenian soldiers gather. The mood is characterized by fear. The Spartans are not there yet, the Persians were faster. You can no longer avoid the battle, you have to compete without the dreaded Spartans. The right wing of the Athenians is traditionally made by the strongest and best hoplite soldiers, who in their heavy bronze armor with the horsehair-crowned helmets, the conically shaped shields and the long spears make an impressive appearance and advance slowly in formation, with the slight right-hand spin, that is characteristic of their formations.
The day belonged to the Athenian hoplites. They defeated the Persian army, and the runner, who traveled 42 kilometers to Athens to deliver the victory message, is still considered the founder of the marathon today. But who were these hoplites who were immortalized on vases and played such a crucial role in Greek society? It was not the people who populated the streets of Athens and later exiled Thucydides. Continue reading “The End of Hoplite Chauvinism”