By Steve Cunningham
A QUESTION by Silver about the ancient Battle of Marathon�drew an answer from Leaverr, which you can read in our question session�here. This question, however, prompted TheAnswerBank to delve deeper into the current debate surrouding the site of the ancient battle of Marathon.
Greece�is planning to destroy part of the ancient site of the Battle of Marathon, which inspired one of the greatest Olympic events.
The Greek Olympic committee plans to dig soil from the Schinias marshes, a renowned wildlife haven north-east of Athens, to build a �30 million rowing centre on part of the site.
Historians have joined environmental protesters to condemn the threat to an area described by the poet Lord Byron as hallowed ground.
The marathon, a principal event of the modern Olympic games since 1896, takes its name from the battle in 490BC, in which the Athenians trapped and killed 6,000 Persian invaders. A messenger, Pheidippides, ran 26 miles from Marathon to Athens with news of the victory and then died from exhaustion.
The Society for the Preservation of the Greek Heritage, based in the America, has written in protest to culture minister Evangelos Venizelos.
The society also says the scheme could also damage Greece's campaign for the return of antiquities taken from the country in the past, including the Elgin Marbles.
Marathon, the decisive battle in the Greco-Persian Wars, was fought on the plain of north-eastern Attica.
In one afternoon, the Athenians repulsed the first Persian invasion of Greece. The Greeks could not hope to face the Persians' cavalry on the open plain, but before dawn one day the Greeks learned that the horsemen had moved from the Persian camp, whereupon the leading general, Miltiades, attacked the Persian infantry.
Miltiades led his contingent of 11,000 to victory over the Persian force of 15,000. By the time the Persians reached their ships, they had lost 6,400 men; the Greeks lost 192. The battle proved the superiority of the Greek long spear, sword, and armour over the Persians' weapons.
But how much of the past should be saved at the expense of future progress What happens if the rowing centre cannot be built and the quality of the Olympics suffers out of respect for a site which, to be frank, is doing nothing Is this cultural vandalism or a positive step to move into the 21st century You tell us on TheAnswerBank Message Boards.