The Delians knew the Persians
were coming and took refuge in Tenos. However, when the Persians
arrived they sent a herald to the Delians to ask why had they run
away, the king has asked them to be spared as this was the island
that gave birth to the two gods, Apollo and Artemis, '..come back
to your dwellings and once more inhabit your island.'
They, then proceeded to donate 300 talent's weight of frankincense
on an alter. When they departed; Delos was shaken by an earthquake.
This the Delians took as an omen to the island, of a catastrophe
about to happen.
The Persians finally landed
near the city of Carystus, on the island of Euboea. The city refused
to bow to the invaders, but the Persians became very influential
and wasted the country side until the inhabitants capitulated.
By this time the Eretrians were
in a state, the Persians were now on the same island as them and
the city was in confusion on what to do. Aeschines, one of the first
men in Eretria came out to meet the contingent from Athens that
had come over to help, and informed them of the chaos that was going
on in the island, he told them to go home to their own land, and
not perish with his countrymen. The Athenians hearkened to his counsel
and crossing back over to the mainland of Greece to escape the coming
danger; for now.
Staying in the their city walls
the Persian assault began, and after six days of battle where many
fell on both sides, the Eretrians were finally betrayed by a countryman
and the Persians took the city, burning the temples and taking prisoners
as the king had demanded.
The Persians, having thus brought
Erectria into subjection after waiting a few days, made sail for
Attica, thinking to deal with the Athenians as they had dealt with
the people of Erectra.
It was old Hippias who had suggested Marathon as the place to land the Persian forces in Attica. Datis wanted room to use his cavalry, and Marathon offered just the right conditions-a long flat strip between the mountains and the sea, with easy through access to Athens by way of the Hymettus-Pentele gap. The beach allowed the ships to be pulled up onto the sand which also allowed for a easy retreat by sea.. There was natural protection on the landline, as well as good grazing for their horses. The Persians would be in an extremely strong position.