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Who Really Won the Battle of Marathon? (Hardback)

A Bold Re-appraisal of One of History’s Most Famous Battles

Ancient History Colour Books Military

By Fotis Karyanos, Constantinos Lagos, Translated by John Carr
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 41
ISBN: 9781526758064
Published: 30th January 2020


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The Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, where an Athenian-led Greek force defeated a Persian invasion, is one of the most decisive battles in Antiquity and has been studied for centuries. It is famed as a triumph of the Greek hoplite heavy infantry phalanx against massively superior Persian numbers. But this exciting re-assessment of the evidence, including new archaeological findings, overturns many long-held assumptions. In particular the authors argue that the Greek numerical inferiority was less marked than previously thought, largely because the hoplites were accompanied by many light infantrymen who are given unprecedented credit for their role in the fighting. The contribution of these poorer citizens, it is argued, led to the immediate strengthening of democracy in Athens.

The authors also tackle the much-debated mystery of the whereabouts of the Persian cavalry, generally thought to have been absent on the day of battle. Their bold answer is that it was not only present but played a central role in the fighting. However, the Greeks managed to defeat the Persian cavalry by their ingenious use of the terrain. Karyanos and Lagos also claim to have located the site of the Greek camp. This thoroughly researched and compelling re-assessment is an exciting new take on this justly famous event.

Featured 'ON THE SHELF' by Neil Smith

Wargames Illustrated, September 2019

Bold and controversial reinterpretation of one of the most the most famous and decisive battles of the ancient world.

Bookseller Buyers Guide

About Fotis Karyanos

Fotis Karyanos holds degrees in History and Archaeology from Athens University and an MBA from Alba Graduate Business School. He is certificated by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) and is active at Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I), a new institution through which a profound reforming effort is being attempted in the field of Research and Innovation in Greece. Ancient history and archaeology, however, remain his consuming passion.

About Constantinos Lagos

Constantinos Lagos holds a BA in History from Athens University and an MA and PhD in Ancient History from Durhan University in the UK. He teaches History in the Hellenic Air Force Academy and the Hellenic Open University. He is the author of a study of the battle of Fort Rupel (6-10 April 1941) and of a biography of Constantine Perrikos, an aviator who fought in the Greek wartime resistance.

About John Carr

Throughout that career he has been steeped in Greek affairs, ancient and modern, which gave him the incentive to reinvent himself as a military historian specializing in southern Europe.

Since his teens he has also involved himself in music, and recently recorded a CD of self-composed instrumental rock, his main spare-time interest apart from writing.

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