The Battle of Marathon was a military engagement which was fought between the Greek Army and the invading Persian forces, in 490 BC, near the town of Marathon, about 120 miles northeast of Athens, Greece, during the Greco-Persian Wars. The reason for the first Persian invasion of Greece was the Athenian support of the Greek Ionian cities in Asia Minor. Athen had supplied these cities with warships and troops. These Greek settlers had risen up against the Persian king Darius I.
Summary of the battle
The Greek Army was composed of 15,000 infantry men from Athens, reinforced with 1,500 soldiers from the city of Plataea. Commanded by Miltiades, the Greeks decided to carry out a surprise attack on the 60,000-man Persian Army, which was camping on a high plain near Marathon before the Persian cavalry could get organized. The result was a decisive Greek victory over the Persians, who were led by General Artaphernes, due to the superior military formation, tactics, and infantry training of the Greek hoplites, which was the name used to call the Greek infantry man. This great Athenian military triumph boosted the morale of the Greek city-States, proving that the powerful Persian Empire could be defeated.