The marathon as an agonistic discipline is an invention of the modern age. Longer foot races than the dólichos (max. 24 stadia = c. 4∙6 km) were not known to antiquity. Just as the dólichos was originally run in the context of the training of messengers (hēmerodrómoi; dromokḗrykes), the marathon was ultimately part of (military) communication.
The ancient tradition regarding the narration of the unique marathon after the Persian battle (490 BC) is scant: according to Plutarch (Mor. 347c) an Athenian hoplite in armour ( hoplitai) ran from the battlefield at Marathon to A…
Cite this page
Frigo, Thomas (Bonn),
“Marathon running”, in:
Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry.
Consulted online on 20 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e721960>