Hi! Welcome to “Dusty Phrases.” You will find below an ancient phrase in one language or another, along with its English translation. You may also find the power to inspire your friends or provoke dread among your enemies.
For other examples, visit HERE:
We have won.
This phrase is allegedly what was said by Athenian herald, Pheidippides, after he ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens, to report the Greek victory against the Persians. The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC and is the event that is remembered still today by the running of marathons.
While the modern marathon is 26.2 miles, the run undertaken by Pheidippides was about 25 miles (40 kilometers.) Why is the race a bit longer today? From history.com:
The idea for the modern marathon was inspired by the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometers, or nearly 25 miles, with the news of an important Greek victory over an invading army of Persians in 490 B.C. After making his announcement, the exhausted messenger collapsed and died. To commemorate his dramatic run, the distance of the 1896 Olympic marathon was set at 40 kilometers.
For the next few Olympics, the length of the marathon remained close to 25 miles, but at the 1908 Games in London the course was extended, allegedly to accommodate the British royal family. As the story goes, Queen Alexandra requested that the race start on the lawn of Windsor Castle (so the littlest royals could watch from the window of their nursery, according to some accounts) and finish in front of the royal box at the Olympic stadium—a distance that happened to be 26.2 miles (26 miles and 385 yards). The random boost in mileage ending up sticking, and in 1921 the length for a marathon was formally standardized at 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers).
Well, there you go. If you have ever run a marathon, and really struggled in that last mile, you can blame the British royal family. Personally, I have always found it kind of odd that humanity has decided to honor the memory of Pheidippides by collectively doing successfully the thing that killed him.