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Fragment of the marble grave monument of Elpines and Eunikos

Greek, Attic

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 153

Inscribed Prob[alinth]os Elpines, son of Elpinikos, from Probalinthos Eunikos, son of Elpinikos, from Probalinthos

Decorated with rosettes on the front and sides, this stele was once crowned with an akroterion similar to the two displayed nearby. It commemorated two brothers from the deme (political district) of Probalinthos, which was located near the plain of Marathon.
The monument was brought to New York in 1923 through the efforts of Dr. John Huston Finley, the third president of The City College of New York. He came across it while hiking in the countryside at Marathon, the site of one of the most famous battles of antiquity, in which the outnumbered Athenians repelled the Persian army in 490 B.C. This grave monument, which commemorates two men who lived about one hundred fifty years after the battle, was named for its place of discovery—the "Marathon Stone." Set up in Lewisohn Stadium, the college's Greek-inspired amphitheater, the stele was intended to signify the persistent influence of classical culture and remind modern athletes and spectators that the race known as the marathon takes its name and its length of twenty-six miles from events connected with the famous battle. The Athenian herald Pheidippides ran approximately one hundred fifty miles in just two days to seek the help of Sparta before the battle, and immediately after their victory the Athenians made a forced march of twenty-six miles from Marathon to Athens to forestall a sneak attack on their city.

Fragment of the marble grave monument of Elpines and Eunikos, Marble, Greek, Attic

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