Ancient Marathon’s narrow escape

Little more than forty kilometres from the Greek capital the town of Marathon lies blackened. The statue of Miltiades stands untarnished, and the tombs of the Athenian warriors he led to immortal fame two and a half millennia ago were spared. The temple of Apollo was damaged but not destroyed.

The mayor, surveying the treasured sites above the odour of burnt pine, olive grove and farmland near the ancient battle site, said: “This place has more history than the Oracle of Delphi.” The Oracle was believed to help tell the future.

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