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The battle of Marathon and European identity

Leoussi, A. (2018) The battle of Marathon and European identity. In: Heuser, B. G. and Leoussi, A. S. (eds.) Famous Battles and How They Shaped the Modern World c.1200 BCE - 1302 CE: From Troy to Courtrai. Pen & Sword, Barnsley (UK) and Philadelphia (USA), pp. 35-50. ISBN 9781473893733

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Abstract/Summary

This essay explores the history of the interpretation and reception of the battle of Marathon both by its contemporaries in Greece and Persia, and by later generations. It focuses attention on the reception of the battle in North-Western Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. It shows, first, the development of West European national identification with 5th-c BC Athens and idealisation of the liberal and democratic spirit of the Marathonomachoi and, second, the expansion of a European belief that modern Europe owed its civilisation and freedom to that ‘battle on the beach’ which inspired Greek resistance to foreign, despotic rule, and created the pre-conditions for the subsequent free development of ideas which gave rise to the ‘golden age’ of Periclean Athens, in which modern European culture has found much of its nourishment.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > French
ID Code:80502
Publisher:Pen & Sword

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