It was the city of Athens against a Persian expeditionary forcesent to bring it under control after it interfered in a war in AsiaMinor. The Athenians were lurking in the hills around the plain ofMarathon where the Persian cavalry couldn’t get at them, waitingfor reinforcement fro Sparta. They saw the Persian cavalry beingloaded on ships and seized the opportunity to run down and defeatthe inferior Persian infantry now not protected by their cavalry.

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