It is renowned for the battle fought there in 490 BCE during the first invasion of Greece by Persia, the superpower of the day. In the battle, the Athenians, with their Platean allies decimated the Persian army. It is among the most important battles of human history because it enabled the Greeks to survive and develop the civilization upon which Western civilization is based today.
Marathon gave the Marathon race its name, based on the route following the victorious battle of the soldier Pheidippides, who ran the 42 kilometers to Athens to announce to the Athenians their victory by declaring “We have won”. He then perished from the extreme exertion. Today, Marathon is the location of the lake of the same name which supplies water to the Attica plain and is worth a visit.