Marathon


Marathon
   A marathon is any kind of activity that goes on at great length or any test of endurance. In fact, the American language, under the misconception that -thon means endurance or long distance, has acquired many words simply by attaching that ending. Now there are talkathons, telethons, danceaihons, and walkathons. No one has as yet come up with workathon. The word marathon, along with its step-sisters, goes back to ancient times. A marathon was not a race; it was the name of a narrow valley in Greece, where in 490 B.C. the Athenians, with a numerically inferior force, overcame and defeated the Persians. The Persians were so penned in that they were unable to use their cavalry, and the Athenians proceeded to slaughter all 6,400 of them. The Greeks lost only 192. Miltiades, the Athenian general, fearing that the Athenians might surrender to a Persian attack by sea in ignorance of the victory at Marathon, dispatched Pheidippides, his fastest runner, to bring home the news of the victory. Sometime earlier Pheidippides had run to Sparta and back to seek help against the Persians, and, without sufficient rest, raced some twenty-six miles to Athens and gasped out the news: "Rejoice—we conquer," and fell dead.
   When the Olympic games were revived for the first time in 1896, a modern "marathon" was staged, covering 26 miles and 385 yards, to commemorate the famous run from Marathon to Athens. Appropriately, the victor was a Greek.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

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  • marathon — [ maratɔ̃ ] n. m. • 1896; de Marathon, ville grecque d où courut, jusqu à Athènes, le soldat portant la nouvelle de la victoire 1 ♦ Course à pied de grand fond (42 km 195) sur route. Le vainqueur du marathon aux Jeux olympiques. 2 ♦ Fig. Épreuve… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Marathon ∞ — Marathon Infinity Marathon infinity Éditeur Bungie Software Développeur Bungie Software Concepteur   Date de sortie 1996 Genre jeu de tir subjectif Mode de jeu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marathon 2 — Marathon 2: Durandal Marathon 2: Durandal Éditeur Bungie Software Développeur Bungie Software Concepteur   Date de sortie 1995 Genre jeu de tir subjectif Mode …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marathon — Marathon, NY U.S. village in New York Population (2000): 1063 Housing Units (2000): 439 Land area (2000): 1.129180 sq. miles (2.924563 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.129180 sq. miles (2.924563 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • marathon — n. 1. A footrace of 26 miles 385 yards. [WordNet sense 2] [WordNet 1.5] 2. Hence: Any long and arduous undertaking, straining the endurance of the participants. [WordNet sense 1] Syn: endurance contest. [WordNet 1.5] 3. (Capitalized)a battle in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Marathon, FL — U.S. city in Florida Population (2000): 10255 Housing Units (2000): 6791 Land area (2000): 8.646210 sq. miles (22.393581 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.997177 sq. miles (2.582676 sq. km) Total area (2000): 9.643387 sq. miles (24.976257 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Marathon, IA — U.S. city in Iowa Population (2000): 302 Housing Units (2000): 162 Land area (2000): 0.731810 sq. miles (1.895378 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.731810 sq. miles (1.895378 sq. km) FIPS code:… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Marathon, NY — U.S. village in New York Population (2000): 1063 Housing Units (2000): 439 Land area (2000): 1.129180 sq. miles (2.924563 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 1.129180 sq. miles (2.924563 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Marathon, TX — U.S. Census Designated Place in Texas Population (2000): 455 Housing Units (2000): 287 Land area (2000): 5.254798 sq. miles (13.609865 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 5.254798 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • marathon — (n.) 1896, marathon race, from story of Gk. hero Pheidippides, who in 490 B.C.E. ran the 26 miles and 385 yards to Athens from the Plains of Marathon to tell of the allied Greek victory there over Persian army. The original story (Herodotus) is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Marathon — MARĂTHON, ónis, Gr. Μαραθὼν, ῶνος, des Epopeus Sohn, gieng den Unbilligkeiten seines Vaters aus dem Wege und machte sich mit einer Colonie seiner Leute nach Attica. Da er aber hörete, daß sein Vater gestorben war, so kehrete er wieder in den… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon