Battle of Marathon, 490 BC
By Jonathan Webb
(Ensure you hit F5 or View Show)
Miltiades versus Datis: A Greek army under Miltiades tries to surprise a Persian rearguard under Datis and push it into the sea. Can Datis use his army’s strengths to defeat Miltiades?
Historians have cited this battle as the battle that saved Western culture in its youngest days and allowed it to survive and flourish. This is likely a touch over-dramatic but it is clear the result of this battle changed the path of history.
This battle emphasizes the importance of using tactics that are suitable to the composition of the forces involved. Miltiades’ sprint towards the Persian lines would have been nonsensical had he commanded light infantry and missile throwers while Datis commanded hoplites. The best commanders choose their maneuver based not only on the enemy’s dispositions but their composition as well; red and blue boxes are not always the same.
This is the first animation I completed so to me, it seems primitive and unattractive even after upgrading it to newer, higher standards. You will notice units do not rotate properly and the movement sequences are slower. Although this battle was chosen because it was basic, it allowed me to test things out which were built upon later. Almost everything started at this animation so it is fitting that the battle is the earliest battle animated thus far.
– Jonathan Webb
Black, Jeremy. The Seventy Great Battles in History. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2004.
Davis, Paul K. 100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
Dupuy, Trevor N. The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History: From 3500 BC to the Present, Fourth Edition. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
Goodenough, Simon. Tactical Genius in Battle. Oxford: Phodian Press, 1979.
Herodotus. The Histories. Translated by Aubrey de Selincourt. New York: Penguin, 2003.
Lendering, Jona. “Battle of Marathon.” Livius. http://www.livius.org/man-md/marathon/marathon.html (accessed Nov. 20, 2007).
United States Military Academy History Department. “Atlas for Ancient Warfare.” United States Military Academy. http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/AncientWarfare/index.htm (accessed Sep. 25, 2008).
Greek hoplite: http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/se/~luv20009/Greek_shield_patterns_1.html
Map of the Persian Empire: http://www.emersonkent.com/map_archive/persian_empire_490_bc.htm
Map of the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_map_projections
Persian infantry: http://www.southeasthobbies.com.au/catalogue/italeri/
Persian cavalry: http://joseph_berrigan.tripod.com/ancientbabylon/id27.html
Tags: 400s BC, Ancient Era, Athenians, Athens, Datis, envelopment of both flanks, Greeks, infantry, land, light infantry, Miltiades, modern day Greece, penetration of the center, Persians, Plateans, Season 1, Southern Europe
Weider History Group