manhood without having seen some service. But the muster-roll of free Athenian citizens of an age fit for military duty never exceeded thirty thousand, and at this epoch probably did not amount to two-thirds of that number. Moreover, the poorer portion of these were unprovided with the equipments, and untrained to the operations of the regular infantry. Some detachments of the best-armed troops would be required to garrison the city itself and man the various fortified posts in the territory; so that it is impossible to reckon the fully equipped force that marched from Athens to Marathon, when the news of the Persian landing arrived, at higher than ten thousand men.
With one exception the other Greeks held back from aiding them. Sparta had promised assistance, but the Persians had landed on the sixth day of the moon, and a religious scruple delayed the march of Spartan troops till the moon should have reached its full. From one quarter only,
- The historians, who lived long after the time of the battle, such as Justin, Plutarch, and others give ten thousand as the number of the Athenian army. Not much reliance could be placed on their authority if unsupported by other evidence; but a calculation made for the number of the Athenian free population remarkably confirms it. For the data of this, see Boeck’s “Public Economy of Athens,” vol. i. p. 45. Some Μέτοικοι probably served as Hoplites at Marathon, but the number of resident aliens at Athens cannot have been large at this period.