Marathon Again

Roman Age?

It was not my intention to blog on Marathon today, because I did not want to resemble those innumerates who believe that today, it’s 2,500 years ago (please wait another year). But chance has a sense of irony: yesterday, I met a colleague who had spent some time in Kynouria, Greece, and had visited the nearby villa of Herodes Atticus (c.102-177). He told me that there was an inscribed column over there that recorded the names of people killed during the battle of Marathon. The alphabet used is the old Athenian one, which was in use prior to 403 BCE, and it is likely that the inscription comes from a monument from the plain of Marathon.

Photo Marco Prins

Herodes Atticus

So far, so good. It is certainly possible that Herodes Atticus, who owned a country estate near Marathon and claimed descent from Miltiades, used part of a fifth-century monument in another villa. However, if  we are to believe this article, Herodes Atticus put something back after he had taken away (parts of) an old monument: he constructed the funeral mound that is now the main monument. This would explain why Pausanias does not mention the tomb, and also fits the antiquarianism of the second century.

To be fair, I think the theory is worth a thought, but nothing more. I would like to see some additional proof.

About these ads

2 Responses to Marathon Again

  1. hippo1st says:

    Innumerates, hmmm.
    Since the years-system we use is a construct-after the fact, it is more reasonable to assume a year 0 (as in math) than it is to leave it out! Then it will take two years form March -1 to March 1.

  2. duncanbcampbell says:

    As in math“? Not in Graeco-Roman maths!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 326 other followers

%d bloggers like this: