The most famous person to fight at Marathon was Aeschylus, and what he thought about his participation in the battle reveals a lot about the mentality of ancient Greeks.
Today, we know Aeschylus because of his writings. He is the “Father of Tragedy” – the first of the renowned trio of ancient Greek tragedians, along with Sophocles and Euripides. Aeschylus’ surviving plays include: The Persians (based on the Battle of Salamis in which Aeschylus also fought ten years after Marathon); Seven Against Thebes; The Suppliants; The Oresteia; Prometheus Bound. A strong argument can be made that Aeschylus has only one rival who might be a worthy contender for the title of “best” playwright ever – Shakespeare.
Given his profound literary reputation, one might expect Aeschylus to mention his accomplishments in the epitaph on his tomb that he most likely wrote about himself before he died in the land of Gela, in Sicily. Indeed, that epitaph does identify the lifetime accomplishment that was most important to Aeschylus and, as previously noted, his thinking provides insight into the minds of ancient Greeks:
Beneath this stone lies Aeschylus, the Athenian, son of Euphorion,
who died in Gela’s wheat-growing land.
His glorious valor the hallowed Plain of Marathon can tell,
and the long-haired Persians know it well.