Sophie (age 7) & Ellie (age 5) tell the history of the Persian invasion of Ancient Greece and how it led to the Marathon race.
Ancient Greece was a set of city states who ruled themselves. Next door was the mighty Persian Empire. The Persian Emperor told his people what to do. There were a few Greek cities in the Persian Empire. They did not like it. They rebelled. However, the Persians crushed the Greek cities. The Greek city of Athens helped the Greek cities rebel. The Persian Emperor was furious and decided to punish Athens. He sent an army to capture the city.
The Persian army landed at Marathon near Athens. The Athenians marched their army out to meet the Persians. The Athenians blocked the road to Athens with tree trunks. They then sent messengers to the Ancient Greek of Sparta asking for help. The Spartans has the best army in Ancient Greece. However, the Spartans could not leave for a week because they had a religious ceremony. The Athenians were on their own.
The Athenian army was like other Ancient Greek armies. It was a hoplite army. It was made of soldiers wearing bronze armour with long spears. They worked together in a column as a team. The Persians did not have so much armour or spears but they did have lots and lots of archers.
The Athenians were also free people whereas the Persians had been forced to fight.
Then Athenians then noticed the Persians getting ready to leave. They realised that the Persians might be getting back on their ships to sail directly to Athens. They could get there before the Athenians. The Athenians could not wait any more for the Spartans. They had to attack immediately.
They marched towards the Persian army. The Persians archers fired into the sky at the Athenians. Just then the Athenians broke into a run. The arrows missed them. They kept on running and charged straight into the Persians. They defeated the Persians killing thousands of them. The remaining Persians fled to their ship, chased by the Athenians.
As the Persians sailed away, the Athenians worried they still might sail to Athens. The Athenians knew they needed to warn the city that the battle had been won and not to give up. They sent their fastest runner to the city. The distance was 26 miles. He ran all the way from Marathon to Athens. He arrived and told the Athenian people that the battle was won. Then he was so tired that he died. The Persian ships did come, but when they saw the Athenians waiting for them, they fled.
All Marathons now are named after the journey made by the Greek runner after the battle. They are all the same distance that he ran.
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