Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/66

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BATTLE OF MARATHON.

columns have long perished, but the mound still marks the spot where the noblest heroes of antiquity, the Μαραθωνόμαχοι repose.

A separate tumulus was raised over the bodies of the slain Platæans, and another over the light armed slaves who had taken part and had fallen in the battle.[1] There was also a separate funeral monument to the general, to whose genius the victory was mainly due. Miltiades did not live long after his achievement at Marathon, but he lived long enough to experience a lamentable reverse of his popularity and success. As soon as the Persians had quitted the western coasts of the Ægean, he proposed to an assembly of the Athenian people that they should fit out seventy galleys, with a proportionate force of soldiers and military stores, and place it at his disposal: not telling them whither he meant to lead it, but promising them that if they would equip the force he asked for, and give him discretionary powers, he would lead it to a land where there was gold in abundance to be won with ease. The Greeks of that time believed in the existence of Eastern realms teeming with gold, as firmly as the Europeans of the sixteenth century believed

  1. It is probable that the Greek light-armed irregulars were active in the attack on the Persian ships, and it was in this attack that the Greeks suffered their principal loss.