Professor Paul Cartledge, Chairman of Marathon2500, A.G. Leventis Chair of Greek Culture, Cambridge

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Marathon2500 Podcast Library

With the Marathon2500 program now complete, the Reading Odyssey intends to preserve this podcast library of all 9 lectures for at least the next 2,500 years. The Marathon2500 podcast library is provided at no charge with the support of leading scholars, the Reading Odyssey board of trustees and our sponsors.

Listen to or download any of these lectures (just click on the links):

The Context and Meaning of the Battle of Marathon (Sept 28, 2010)
Professor Paul Cartledge

The Battle Itself (Oct 12, 2010)
Professor Peter Krentz

The Life of a Soldier: Persian and Greek (Nov 10, 2010)
Professor Victor Davis Hanson

The Persian Version: Battle of Marathon from the Persian Perspective (Jan 18, 2011)
Professor Thomas Harrison 

Marathon and the Moderns (Feb 9, 2011)
Ultra-Marathoner Dean Karnazes and Professor Paul Cartledge 

War and Sports (April 5, 2011)
Professor Tom Scanlon

Herodotus and the Invention of History (May 10, 2011)
Independent Scholar Robert Strassler  

Epilogue: What happened after the Battle of Marathon (June 8, 2011)
Professor John Marincola  

The Context and Meaning of the Battle of Marathon: Why We Have Celebrated (Sept 23, 2011)
Professors Paul Cartledge, Thomas Harrison, John Marincola, James Romm and Robert Strassler


2,500 year anniversary of Marathon is here

After a year of lectures and Herodotus reading groups, the day has arrived: the actual 2,500 year anniversary of the Battle of Marathon. Please join us for our final webinar, today, Wednesday, September 21, 2011:

The Context and Meaning of the Battle of Marathon: Why we have been celebrating the 2,500 year anniversary


Register free here for this webinar today, Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 1pm New York time:

Toll-free phone numbers from most countries will be made availble to all registrants.

Scholars participating in today's webinar include:

- Professor Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Chair of Greek Culture, Cambridge University
- John Marincola, Leon Golden Professor of Classics, Florida State University
- James Romm, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Classics, Bard College
- Robert Strassler, Independent scholar and businessman; founder and editor of the Landmark series - Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon's Hellenika, Arrian and forthcoming titles

And many scholars have sent in their comments about the significance of Marathon. 

Join us!

- Phil 

Founder, Reading Odyssey
Director, Marathon2500 


Marathon2500 eve

The 2,500-year anniversary of the Battle of Marathon is about to happen on the east coast of the United States (Europe and Asia have already begun the 2,500-year anniversary day). 

In just over 12 hours, Professor Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Chair of Greek Culture at Cambridge University and Chairman of Marathon2500, will begin the final - and ninth - lecture of the Marathon2500 program.

Joined by scholars around the world live via webinar/toll-free conference call, Professor Cartledge will reflect on the context and meaning of the Battle of Marathon and why we have been celebrating the 2,500 year anniversary over the last 12 months.

Interested and curious adults the world over are invited to join us for this commemoration of the 2,500 year anniversay. Register here for the toll-free phone number and webinar ID:

Scholars from around the world have submitted short answers to the question - why is Marathon important. We'll be sharing their answers in the final webinar tomorrow.

My own answer to that question is simple. In addition to the significance of the battle for the later flourishing of Athenian culture and politics, Marathon is important for the same reason that all history is important: understanding the Battle of Marathon (and reading terrific books like Herodotus' Histories) helps humans connect to and imagine our past. And that activity has important cascading effects. By connecting to our past we start to become curious about a most important question: "how did we humans come to create the world we live in today?" By asking that question we confront and challenge passivity. Challenging passivity - and coming to terms with the possibility that we shaped our world - strengthens the intellectual and moral muscles we need to continue to create and recreate our present and future. 

- Phil 

Phil Terry
Founder, Reading Odyssey
Director, Marathon2500 


Marathon Spearheads 

Dr. Yannis Galanakis graciously agreed to allow us to reprint the beginning of his really excellent piece on two spearheads allegedly from Marathon and now in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford.

Re-thinking Marathon: two memorabilia from the battle of Marathon at the Pitt-Rivers

Dr Yannis Galanakis, Department of Antiquities Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford


Among the objects in the founding collection of Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt-Rivers, and within a relatively small group of ancient Greek antiquities, are two iron socketed spearheads. The first of the two spearheads (1884.120.42; FIGURES 1, 2, 5) has a much-corroded, leaf-shaped blade, with a slightly-pronounced midrib and a socket, which still contains traces of the wooden haft (total length: 26.5 x max. blade width: 4.4cm, 125gr). The second spearhead (1884.120.43; FIGURES 3, 4, 5), also badly-corroded, has a long narrow blade with a slightly-pronounced midrib and is curved upwards [1] (total length: 35.1cm x max. blade width 3cm, 126gr).

Source: Rethinking Pitt-Rivers | Marathon Spearheads 

Figure 1. 1884.120.42

Figure 1. 1884.120.42


Final Marathon2500 lecture on the *2,500* year annivesary

The Context and Meaning of the Battle of Marathon: Why we have been celebrating the 2,500 year anniversary

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
1:00 PM New York Time (Brief lecture and then Q&A with listeners from all over the world)

On the *actual* 2,500-year anniversary (as best as we can determine), we will be hosting the final and ninth lecture of the Marathon2500 series.

(Register here for a toll-free number:

Paul Cartledge, Hellenic Parliament Global Distinguished Professor in the History and Theory of Democracy at New York University and A.G. Leventis Professor Greek Culture, Cambridge University will lead the celebration today of the 2,500 year anniversary of the Battle of Marathon by reviewing the yearlong lecture series that he's chaired and by answering questions from the global audience about any of the topics discussed during the previous 12 months.

A world expert on Athens and Sparta in the Classical Age, Professor Cartledge was chief historical consultant for the BBC TV series The Greeks and the Channel 4 series The Spartans, presented by Bettany Hughes. He is also a holder of the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour (Greece), an Honorary Citizen of (modern) Sparta and a board member of the Reading Odyssey.

Marathon2500 Lecture Series

Professor Cartledge has chaired the yearlong Marathon2500 lecture series and will be reviewing key themes and answering questions in this final lecture/discussion.

People around the world have participated in this commemoration of the battle of Marathon, thanks to the world’s best Hellenic scholars and sports historians who delivered eight lectures on the cultural, intellectual and athletic legacy of the Battle of Marathon. The talks were delivered in a variety of contexts: live audiences at NYU and Georgetown, global webinars and webcasts and all podcasts have been archived for listening on demand.