Friday, February 16, 2007

Militiades - Athenian Badass

c. 555-489 B.C.
Famous for commanding Athenian forces at Marathon.

Militiades (the younger) was one of ten (one for each tribe) generals leading the Athenian forces at Marathon. He is said to have argued passionately for the attack and is said by some to have come up with the plan for weakening the middle and therefore strengthening and lengthening the wings. This formation adopted by the Athenians created (whether intentionally we do not quite know) a double envelopment which helped rout the Persian forces.

Militiades had been the ruler of Chersonese and had quarreled with the Scythians (and even joined in a Persian expedition against them) and joined supported the Ionian revolt. As the Persians put down the revolt, Militiades fled to Athens although his son Metiochus was captured and taken to Persia. Things weren’t all bad for Metiochus as the Persians often time treated their important prisoners as royalty and this seems to be no exception. Militiades stayed in Athens and ended up fighting the Persian punitive expedition sent in response to that cities part in the Ionian revolt.

I’ve chosen to model Militiades as an Athenian commander on foot in a muscled cuirass, sporty bronze greaves and a simple cloak. He would be a commander who fought in the main battle line taking a position of honor but I’ve pictured him here in the planning/leading stage, ready to give a rousing speech to lead the phalanx into battle. He is pictured without his hoplon and still wearing the cloak (which he most likely sheds for battle).

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