Commemorating the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon
Symbolizing the battle for freedom and the noble ideals derived from the Battle of Marathon, the center of the coin shows a synthesis of a shield and a warrior. Τhe bird on the shield symbolizes the birth of western civilization in its present form.
So, to this day, when friend meets friend, the word of salute
According to the historian Herodotus, the Persian fleet landed 100,000 troops on Schinias Beach in the year 490 B.C. Against this huge army the Athenians brought 10,000 soldiers and with the help of 1,000 Plataian soldiers, thanks to an ingenious strategic plan of the Greek army commander, Miltiades, managed to be the victors.
They formed the Greek letter (Π) with weak centre and strong sides, and when the battle started, the central section retreated and the sides closed in and squeezed the panicked Persian soldiers. Thousands of Persians were killed or drowned in the swamp nearby, (where the rowing venue of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was), while the Athenians had 192 soldiers dead, all buried in the Tymvos of Marathon area.
2500 years after that historic victory in the Battle of Marathon, 2500 years after Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to announce it, with the historic phrase NENIKIKAMEN, which he uttered then collaped and died, Greece is once more celebrating one of it's legacies to the world!
I almost lost it coming thru-such a historic day-truly honored to have participated-i recommend the classic athens marathon to all!
Each person who took part got a commemorative medallion and it was wonderful to see everyone wearing it proudly...even on the Metro ride home!
The mood along the route from Marathon, throughout downtown Athens and especially in front of the impressive Kalimarmaro Stadium which was the finish line, was festive and fun, with families sitting inside the Stadium applauding each athlete who crossed into the stadium from Herodus Atticus Street and down through the finishing arch!
A loud cheer rose up from the crowd lining the streets and the stadium as Kenya's Raymond Bett ran down Herodus Atticus Street and into the Kallimarmaro Stadium crossing the finishing line first, 2 hours 12 minutes and 40 seconds after setting off from Marathon, and setting a new record. He was closely followed by fellow Kenyans Jonathan Kipkorir and Edwin Kimutai in 2nd and 3rd place, while the first Greek runner, Michael Parmakis, came in at 2 hours 20 minutes and 48 seconds, placing 15th overall.
and Minister of Foreign Affairs Droutsas in the crowd, walking by in front of the statue of the Discus Thrower.
We thank Mrs Ioanna Balla, one of our precious volunteers for the photographs she so generously allowed us to use.
Ioanna, Teti, and Dimitri with friend...
In the last week the Zappeio Megaro, which was also the registration and accreditation centre for the Marathon, hosted an excellent exhibition on the Battle of Marathon and Ancient Drama.
We thought we would share with you some of the photos from that exhibition, because our noble predecessors always considered it essential for sport and culture to go together
and to finish...here is Google's tribute to today's historic anniversary...
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