The strategic location of Marathon on the east coast of Attica, which enables the control of a large part of the Euboean gulf and the opposite coastline, favoured intensive human occupation throughout prehistory.


The wider region of Marathon is commonly attested in myths related to the adventures of the most famous heroes and kings of Greek mythology, such as Theseus, Hercules and Minos.

The Tetrapolis of Marathon was a local union, involving the four komai of Marathon, Oinoe, Trikorynthos and Provalinthos, which belonged to the tribes (fylai) of Aiantis and Pandionis.