Marathon (Greece)

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Municipality of Marathon
Δήμος Μαραθώνος (Μαραθώνας)
Marathon (Greece) (Greece)
Basic data
State : GreeceGreece Greece
Region : Attica
Regional District : Eaststatica
Geographic coordinates : 38 ° 9 ′  N , 23 ° 58 ′  E Coordinates: 38 ° 9 ′  N , 23 ° 58 ′  E
Area : 226.55 km²
Residents : 33,423 (2011)
Population density : 147.5 inhabitants / km²
Community logo:
Community logo of the community of Marathon
Seat: marathon
LAU-1 code no .: 4906
Districts : 4 municipal districts
Local self-government : f122 city districts
2 local communities
Location in the Attica region
File: 2011 Dimos Marathonos.png
f9 f8
The level of marathon
The Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Center in the Schinias district

Marathon ( m. Sg. ) ( Ancient Greek and Katharevousa Μαραθών, neugr. Μαραθώνας Marathonas ; translated fennel field ) is a municipality in Greece northeast of Athens , on the east coast of ancient Attica .

In their vicinity was found in 490 BC The battle at Marathon between the Persians and the Athenians took place, from which the Athenians emerged victorious under the general Miltiades .

The current community was formed during the administrative reform in 2010 by uniting the larger neighboring community Nea Makri and the small rural communities Grammatiko and Varnavas with a marathon.

Close to the city is the Marathon Reservoir, which is important for Athens' water supply .

Kotroni Marathon Air Base

Southwest of Marathon there is a military airfield ( , ICAO : LGKN ) of the Greek Navy , which has its helicopters stationed here. In addition to the naval helicopter school, two squadrons are stationed here. The two asphalt runways are 307 m (orientation: 03/21) and 590 m (orientation: 12/30) long. The military airfield is at an altitude of 208 m (682 ft) above sea level . World icon

Marathon run

The legend of the messenger Pheidippides has grown up around the battle of Marathon . In the most popular version of the story, Pheidippides is said to have brought the news of the victory from the battlefield to Athens, about 40 km away, and died of exhaustion after delivering the news on the Areopagus . However, this distance should not have posed any difficulty for an experienced runner, and since this legend is only found in Plutarch , who lived about 600 years after the battle, it must be regarded as an invention or Attic propaganda. This narrative forms the basis of the modern marathon , which was first held on the occasion of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The Athens Marathon has existed since 1982 and takes place on this route and has its destination in the Athens Olympic Stadium from 1896.

Research Discussion

Although most historians today consider the marathon runner to be a later invention, there are still voices who believe in the historical truth of the runner. Th. B. Yannakis, as an advocate of the truth of the runner, draws attention to the following points: We know from Philostratos that there were state runners everywhere in Greece and that armies always employed messengers to keep in contact with the outside world. Opponents of this view, on the other hand, argue that Herodotus , whose description of the marathon battle is the only one that has fully survived, did not say anything about the runner, although he wrote his work only a few decades after the battle. On the contrary, Herodotus names another Pheidippides , who is said to have covered the distance from Athens to Sparta in two days. The fact that one runner covers this distance of around 245 km in two days while another breaks down there after the relatively short distance between the marathon and Athens is implausible and makes - together with the fact that Herodotus otherwise everything that he could tell about the deeds of the Athenians was known, included in his work - the story is unbelievable. The earliest ancient historians to name the marathon runner are Plutarch and Lukian , who both report on it over 500 years later. Another indication of a later invention of the runner is that several names have been handed down , but each without the patronymic icon and demotonic icon . According to some sources, this messenger should have walked the specified route with armor on, as quickly as possible and under the hot Greek sun, if he was not in good shape at the time, it seems plausible that he collapsed dead in the end . Assuming, of course, that this man actually existed ... The barrel can also be considered a later invention of the imperial era and, as a legend, probably belongs to the context of the Athenian ephebe curriculum - e.g. B. as a reason for the gun run of the Ephebe .


At the town of Marathon there is a burial mound in which the 192 Athenians who fell in the Battle of Marathon are said to have been buried, and not far from there is another one, probably for the Plateans who fought on the side of the Athenians in the battle, and a third Burial mound from the 13th century BC From Mycenaean times.

Next to this third burial mound is a museum that houses archaeological finds from the area around Marathon and, above all, sculptures from a villa of Herodes Atticus , who came from this area.


  • M.-C Amouretti, F. Ruze: Le Monde grec antique , Hachette-Université, 1978
  • P. Lévèque: L'aventure grecque , Armand Colin, 1964
  • Edouard Will: Le Monde grec et l'Orient , tome I: le V siècle , collection “Peuples et Civilizations”, Presses universitaires de France, 1980
  • E. Glatre: Salamine et les Guerres Médiques , collection "les grandes batailles de l'Histoire", Socomer, 1990
  • Thomas Maria Weber : Marathon. Settlement chamber and battlefield - summer retreat and Olympic competition site , von Zabern, Mainz 2004 ( Ancient World . Special volume / Zabern's illustrated books on archeology ) ISBN 3-8053-3378-1
  • Henri Pigaillem: Salamine et les Guerres Médiques. Economica, 2004

to the marathon discussion:

  • Th. B. Yannakis: The Feat of the Messenger of Marathon in 490 BB: Myth or Fact. In: Canadian Journal of History of Sport, Dec. 1988, Vol. XIX. No. 2, 50-56.
  • István Kerstész: Battle and "run" at marathon. Legend and Reality , In: Nikephoros , 4 (1991), pp. 155-160.
  • Michael Jung: Marathon and Plataiai. Two Persian battles as "lieux de mémoire" in ancient Greece , In: Hypomnemata , Volume 164 (2006), pp. 181–190.
  • Hans W. Giessen: The Marathon Myth. From Herodotus through Bréal to the present (= Landau writings on communication and cultural studies. Volume 17). Verlag Empirische Pädagogik, Landau 2010, ISBN 978-3-941320-46-8 .

Web links

Commons : Marathon  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Results of the 2011 census at the National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΛ.ΣΤΑΤ) ( Memento from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (Excel document, 2.6 MB)
  2. Kotroni Airport Marathon. In: Retrieved February 15, 2020 .
  3. Spyros Louis's Bréal Cup (pdf 1.1 MB, English / Greek), accessed on August 10, 2015