Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/22

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Platæans were made the civil fellow-countrymen of the Athenians, except the right of exercising certain political functions; and from that time forth in the solemn sacrifices at Athens, the public prayers were offered up for a joint blessing from Heaven upon the Athenians, and the Platæans also.[1]

After the junction of the column from Platæa, the Athenian commanders must have had under them about eleven thousand fully-armed and disciplined infantry, and probably a larger number of irregular light-armed troops; as, besides the poorer citizens who went to the field armed with javelins, cutlasses, and targets, each regular heavy-armed soldier was attended in the camp by one or more slaves, who were armed like the inferior freemen.[2]

  1. Mr. Grote observes (vol. iv. p. 464), that “this volunteer march of the whole Platæan force to Marathon is one of the most affecting incidents of all Grecian history.” In truth, the whole career of Platæea, and the friendship, strong, even unto death, between her and Athens, form one of the most affecting episodes in the history of antiquity. In the Peloponnesian war the Platæans again were true to the Athenians against all risks, and all calculation of self-interest; and the destruction of Platæa was the consequence. There are few nobler passages in the classics than the speech in which the Platæan prisoners of war, after the memorable siege of their city, justify before their Spartan executioners, their loyal adherence to Athens. See Thucydides, lib. iii. secs. 53—60.
  2. At the battle of Platæa, eleven years after Marathon, each of the eight thousand Athenian regular infantry who served them, was attended by a light-armed slave. Herod. lib. viii. c. 28, 29.