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Marathon running
(402 words)

[German version]

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>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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