To the Editor:
I enjoyed the article “Marathon Memories Continuously Born, in Greece and Worldwide” I believe that there is always an inherent nobility in everything pertaining to the Athenians of the Periclean Age that still profoundly affects modern Greeks who reflect back with great pride to the “Glory that was Greece” as Poe put it.
I fully appreciate the feelings – and commend – Mr. Katsos for informally crowning his son with the olive wreath from his olive groves in Kalamata upon the son’s completion of the race as the photograph in the article shows.
Reminds one of the old Spartan warrior, veteran of a hundred battles, who was in attendance in the Olympic Games of the 79th Olympiad in (664 B.C).
Pausanias relates that when the two sons of Diagoras of Rhodes, himself a more than once the victor in boxing in the Olympic games, were crowned Olympic victors themselves that day, they paraded their father on their shoulders around the stadium, the old hardened Spartan warrior exclaimed ‘die now Diagoras, you will never be happier’.
In the article it is stated that Pheidippides, bearing the good news of the Athenian victory against the Persians at Marathon to the gravely concerned Athenians in the city, ‘gasped’ upon arrival “nikomen – we won.”
His actual word was “nenikikamen – νενικηκαμεν ” There is a grammatical difference between the two forms of the verb: in “nikomen” which is present tense the outcome of any action is still not known, the fight is still going on ; in “nenikikamen”, past perfect tense, the fight is over and we have won. A very precise statement. Thank you
Nicholas P. Krial
230 Parke Street
Aberdeen, Md. 21001-3314