Many have participated in a marathon, but does anyone know the origins of the race? The Perth Mint is issuing a coin that is not only highly collectible, but should answer that question. The Pheidippidis' Marathon Run 2,500th Anniversary 490BC-2010 Silver Coin has been released to mark the 2,500th anniversary of what many believe to be the run that started it all.
Pheidippidis' Marathon Run High Relief Silver Coin - Click to Enlarge
The story starts back in 490BC. The Greeks were embroiled in the Persian War. King Darius I of Persia sent an army to Greece in the area of Athens and Plataea to gain control of the people and the land. The Persian fleet landed at Marathon Bay and prepared for battle.
The year was 1066 and a pivotal battle between two European powers that would help shape the history of the continent, and for that matter the world, was about to take place near a coastal village in England. To commemorate this conflict, the Perth Mint is now offering The Battle of Hastings 1066 1oz Silver Proof Coin as the third coin in its successful Famous Battle coin series.
Harold II, King of England, had just returned from crushing a Norwegian Viking invasion when he heard news of a Norman force near the village of Hastings. Eager to show his people of his ability to protect them under all circumstances, he rushed with what men he could find to meet the threat. Advisors had pleaded with King Harold to delay in order to give his battle weary soldiers a rest and to muster additional troops. Harold refused and marched at once with a force estimated at 7,500.