The Origin of the Marathon: Linking Past to Present
The story of the most popular long-distance event, from its origins in ancient literature to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and how a young farmer, Spyridon 'Spyros' Louis (1873-1940), became an unlikely national hero.
Lambros, SP. P. and N.G. Polites.
The Olympic Games, B.C. 776 - A.D. 1896
. Athens and London, 1896.
. Olympic Marathon: A Centennial History of the Games’ Most Storied Race
. Praeger, 1997.
Lucas, Josh. “A History of the Marathon Race—490 BC to 1975.”
Journal of Sport History
3 (1976): 120-138
Verinis, James P. “ Spiridon Loues, the Modern Foustanéla, and the Symbolic Power of Pallikariá at the 1896 Olympic Games.”
Journal of Modern Greek Studies
23:1 (2005): 139-168.
Marathon runners in the 1896 Games, on their way to Athens
Spyros Louis wearing the traditional foustanéla
Louis at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, standing next to Prince Paul of Greece
Music: "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (
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