Greek Warlord General Miltiades
The Battle of Marathon Warlord
Miltiades is often credited with devising the tactics that defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. Miltiades was elected to serve as one of the ten generals (strategoi) for 490 BC. In addition to the ten generals, there was one ‘war-ruler’ Callimachus, who had to decide—with the ten generals evenly split, five to five—whether to attack the Persians who had landed at Marathon under the command of Datis, or wait to fight them closer to Athens.
Miltiades, the one with the most experience in fighting the Persians, was firm in insisting that the Persians be fought immediately, as a siege of Athens would lead to its destruction. He convinced Callimachus to use his decisive vote in favor of a swift attack. He is quoted as saying “I believe that, provided the Gods will give fair play and no favour, we are able to get the best of it in the engagement.”
These tactics were successful in defeating the Persians, who then tried to sail around the Cape Sounion and attack Attica from the west. Miltiades got his men to quickly march to the western side of Attica overnight and block the two exits from the plain of Marathon, to prevent the Persians moving inland. Datis fled at the sight of the soldiers who had just defeated him the previous evening.
The cavalry left. When Datis surrendered and was ready for retreat, the Ionians climbed the trees and gave the Athenians the signal that the cavalry had left. And when Miltiades realized that, he attacked and thus won. From there comes the above-mentioned quote, which is used when someone breaks ranks before battle.
The Helmet of Miltiades was given as an offering to the temple of Zeus at Olympia by Miltiades, the Greek general. His helmet read Miltiades dedicates this helmet to Zeus.
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