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Pheidippides (Read 1090 times)


A Dance with Monkeys

    Pheidippides was not associated with the run from Marathon to Athens in ANY of the primary sources. It was not until the 1879 poem by Robert Browning that the two became associated: So, when Persia was dust, all cried, "To Acropolis! Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due! Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!" He flung down his shield Ran like fire once more: and the space 'twixt the fennel-field And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through, Till in he broke: "Rejoice, we conquer!" Like wine through clay, Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss! ----------------------------------------------- The original text comes from Herodotus, who tells a different story: "Before they left the city, the Athenian generals sent off a message to Sparta. The messenger was an Athenian named Pheidippides, a professional long-distance runner. According to the account he gave the Athenians on his return, Pheidippides met the god Pan on Mount Parthenium, above Tegea. Pan, he said, called him by name and told him to ask the Athenians why they paid him no attention, in spite of his friendliness towards them and the fact that he had often been useful to them in the past, and would be so again in the future. The Athenians believed Pheidippides's story, and when their affairs were once more in a prosperous state, they built a shrine to Pan under the Acropolis, and from the time his message was received they held an annual ceremony, with a torch-race and sacrifices, to court his protection. On the occasion of which I speak - when Pheidippides, that is, was sent on his mission by the Athenian commanders and said that he saw Pan - he reached Sparta the day after he left Athens and delivered his message to the Spartan government. "Men of Sparta" (the message ran), "the Athenians ask you to help them, and not to stand by while the most ancient city of Greece is crushed and subdued by a foreign invader; for even now Eretria has been enslaved, and Greece is the weaker by the loss of one fine city." The Spartans, though moved by the appeal, and willing to send help to Athens, were unable to send it promptly because they did not wish to break their law. It was the ninth day of the month, and they said they could not take the field until the moon was full. So they waited for the full moon, and meanwhile Hippias, the son of Pisistratus, guided the Persians to Marathon." ----------------------------------------------- The account of the run from Marathon to Athens first appears in Plutarch's On the Glory of Athens in the 1st century AD who quotes from Heraclides Ponticus's lost work, giving the runner's name as either Thersipus of Erchius or Eucles. Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) also gives the story but names the runner Philippides (not Pheidippides). In fact, the distance from Marathon to Athens is 21 miles. When the modern marathon distance run was created, the distance varied quite substantially from race to race, and was anywhere from 20 to 28 miles. The distance we know today, 26.2 miles, was canonized quite by accident. For the 1908 Olympic Games in London, the King decided that he wanted the race to start at his Windsor Castle and end in the stadium. This would allow the King and family to watch the start of the race. The distance between the two locations was precisely 26 miles, 385 yards. Even after this, the distance varied in each of the Olympics and in other famous marathons until 1921, when the IAAF adopted the 1908 distance.
    Scout7


    CPT Curmudgeon

      Actually, there's evidence that Pheidippides ran much longer than that. In fact, the hold a race commemorate the run, the Spartathlon, which covers almost 250k.


      Kill

        Actually, there's evidence that Pheidippides ran much longer than that. In fact, the hold a race commemorate the run, the Spartathlon, which covers almost 250k.
        Which is a walk in the park for the likes of Lynn and Steve.

        Passion is a rather frightening thing because if you have passion you don't know where it will take you.

         

        When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?


        A Dance with Monkeys

          Actually, there's evidence that Pheidippides ran much longer than that. In fact, the hold a race commemorate the run, the Spartathlon, which covers almost 250k.
          Um. I said that. Read Herodotus' description...he runs from Marathon to Sparta (130 miles each way).
          Scout7


          CPT Curmudgeon

            Um. I said that. Read Herodotus' description...he runs from Marathon to Sparta (130 miles each way).
            Somehow, I missed that part. Not sure what happened.....


            A Dance with Monkeys

              Big grin Herodotus is tough reading...
              Scout7


              CPT Curmudgeon

                Big grin Herodotus is tough reading...
                I blame Pam's comment about PRs and the Monkey.....


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  I blame Pam's comment about PRs and the Monkey.....
                  Pam is tough reading.


                  You'll ruin your knees!

                    Somebody at work told me I should get in the company's 401K. I think I should too, as I should have a pretty good chance of placing well. Still don't know why they pick 248.62 miles for a race distance, but there's a "catch-up" rule for us old guys... Wink

                    ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                      Um. I said that. Read Herodotus' description...he runs from Marathon to Sparta (130 miles each way).
                      I thought it was Athens to Sparta, with the request for military assistance? Then the fatal twenty-something miles was Marathon to Athens with the news of the battle (nike!) No?

                      E.J.
                      Greater Lowell Road Runners
                      Cry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!

                      May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.

                        Somebody at work told me I should get in the company's 401K. I think I should too, as I should have a pretty good chance of placing well. Still don't know why they pick 248.62 miles for a race distance, but there's a "catch-up" rule for us old guys... Wink
                        You been at any races with teams from Texas Instruments? They have a shirt about signing up for the 401k Smile

                        Vim


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          That appears obscure. Pheidippides was an Athenian and the battle of Marathon was to protect Athens. I understood that he ran from the battle when the size of the Persian army was obvious. But in the Herodotus quote above, it is not clear.
                            Somebody at work told me I should get in the company's 401K. I think I should too, as I should have a pretty good chance of placing well. Still don't know why they pick 248.62 miles for a race distance, but there's a "catch-up" rule for us old guys... Wink


                            Another Passion

                              On the way home from walleye fishing on Lake Erie one time when I was a kid (pre-cell phone era), my dad's Suburban puked and I had to run a mile and a half, from Samaria to Temperance, home to tell my mom to bring the car to pull the Suburban and the boat home. It was hot that day. Perhaps we could start our own race in memory of that event?!? Confused

                              Rick
                              "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." - Juma Ikangaa
                              "I wanna go fast." Ricky Bobby
                              runningforcassy.blogspot.com

                                Didya catch anything that day? Walleye are good eatin'.
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