By Doris Yu
The Greeks believed in many gods
Zeus is the King of the Gods and the most powerful god. He
has two brothers and three sisters. He has a wife called
Hera, who is also one of his sisters. He also had a lot of kids
and he likes all of them very much. Each of his kids has
special powers. Zeus has many powers too. He can throw
lightning bolts and his horse, Pegasus, carries his lightning
bolts for him. Zeus can sound like anybody and can shape
shift into anybody. The only thing he is afraid of is Hera, his
Hera is the queen of the gods, the goddess of marriage
and family. She is the wife of Zeus and also his sister.
Greek men thought of her as mean and selfish and
usually not nice to be around but people did sacrifice to
her, especially at a wedding. She is the mother of
Hephaestus, the god of volcanoes and blacksmithing, the
mother of Hebe, the goddess of youth and Ares, the
god of war.
Poseidon is one of Zeus’s brothers. Poseidon is the lord
of the sea. He is very powerful, he can raise his hand
and then a new island would appear. The Greeks were
afraid of him. All the Greeks, especially the ones that
lived near the sea, built a temple to honor Poseidon. The
Greeks brought gifts to the temple, hoping to keep
Poseidon happy. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it
Hades is another brother of Zeus. He is the lord of the
Underworld. He has a seat in Mount Olympus but he doesn’t live
there. He has an invisible helmet, which he likes a lot. He also
has a golden chariot which is his pride and joy and he has his
three-headed dog called Cerberus.
Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. He is the god of war. Neither of
his parents like him very much but it is very difficult to like
Ares. Ares doesn’t care who wins or loses a battle, he just likes to
see blood. Most of the other gods stayed as far away from Ares
as possible because he only caused trouble.
Hermes is the youngest son of Zeus. He is the messenger
god. Hermes was born mischievous, even as a baby, Zeus could
tell that Hermes was going to be a whole lot of fun to have
around. Zeus likes Hermes very much. Zeus wanted Hermes to
have an important job in the world of the Greek gods. Hermes is
fast on his feet and very clever, so Zeus decided he would make a
wonderful messenger. The other gods trust Hermes. Hermes has
a true warmth. He is playful enough to be interesting. He is also
very bright and loyal.
The Battle of Marathon was a battle between the Greeks and Persians
The Persians attack Greece
In 490 B.C, the Persians attacked Greece because their king,
Darius, wanted more land. He wanted to get Athens. The
Athenians were surprised by the Persians attack but the army
general who was called Miltiades, was used to the tricks of the
Persian king so he sent a runner called Pheidippides to run to
Sparta to ask for help. While Pheidippides ran, Miltiades set up
his army and they travelled to Marathon to stop the Persians.
All this happened at the beaches of Marathon, that’s why the
battle is called The Battle of Marathon.
The Long Wait
When the Persians unloaded their ships, they lined up and faced the Greeks.
The Greeks and Persians stood there, looking at each other for 4 days and 3
nights. During the wait, the Persians were hoping that some of the Greeks
were still on the Persians side and would persuade the others to join the
Persians. The Greeks were waiting for Pheidippides to run back to tell them if
the Spartans were going to help. Unfortunately, the Spartans were having a
festival and said they wouldn’t help until the next full moon so the Athenians
had to fight on their own. After Pheidippides told the Greeks, he also had to
fight in the army but he was strong and well-trained so he wasn’t tired a bit.
While the Persians and Greeks stood there, the king, Darius,
thought of a plan. He thought that if all the Athenians were in
Marathon, then Athens would be unprotected. So he took some
of his men on the ships and left some on Marathon to make it
look like the Persians were still there but Miltiades saw some of
the Persians loading up their ships and decided that the Greeks
would have to charge towards the Persians on Marathon and
then quickly run back to Athens to fight the other Persians. So
that is what the Athenians did.
The Athenians won their battle on Marathon but there was no time to rest.
The Athenians also had to fight the Persians on Athens so they ran as fast as
they could to Athens. They arrived just in time to see the Persians unload
their ships. The Athenians marched towards them as a wall while the
Persians lined up. Suddenly, they ran towards the Persians which surprised
the Persians because the Greeks always marched slowly. The Greeks and
Persians fought and fought and the Athenians won THAT battle too! So the
Greeks sent Pheidippides to tell the Athenians that they had won and by the
time he told the news, he fell down and died of tiredness. During the battle,
the Greeks lost 192 men while the Persians lost 3,000.