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THE

FIFTEEN DECISIVE BATTLES

OF THE WORLD.


CHAPTER I.

THE BATTLE OF MARATHON.

“Quibus actus uterque
Europæ atque Asiæ fatis concurrerit orbis.”

Two thousand three hundred and forty years ago, a council of Athenian officers was summoned on the slope of one of the mountains that look over the plain of Marathon, on the eastern coast of Attica. The immediate subject of their meeting was to consider whether they should give battle to an enemy that lay encamped on the shore beneath them; but on the result of their deliberations depended, not merely the fate of two armies, but the whole future progress of human civilization.

There were eleven members of that council of war. Ten were the generals, who were then

VOL. I.
B