Marathon2500 eve
Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 10:27PM

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 

Article originally appeared on Marathon2500 Project - Reading Odyssey, Inc. (
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