:"This is an article about the Greek city of Eretria on Euboea. It should not be confused with Eretria in western Magnesia, Greece or the modern African nation, Eritrea."

Infobox Greek Dimos
name = Eretria
name_local = Ερέτρια
image_coa =

periph = Central Greece
prefec = Euboea
province =
population = 5969
population_as_of = 2001
population_ref = [ source]
pop_dens =
area =
elevation = 8
lat_deg = 38
lat_min = 23
lat_hem = N
lon_deg = 23
lon_min = 47
lon_hem = E
postal_code = 340 08
area_code = 22290
licence = ΧΑ
mayor =
website =

caption_skyline =


districts =
party =
since =
elevation_min =
elevation_max =

Eretria ( _el. Ερέτρια) was a polis in Ancient Greece, located on the western coast of the island of Euboea (modern Evvoia or Evia), south of Chalcis, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow Euboian Gulf. Eretria was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th century BC. It however lost its importance already in antiquity. There is a modern Greek town of the same name on the ancient site.



The first evidence for human activity in the area of Eretria are pottery sherds and stone artefacts from the late Neolithic period (3500-3000 BC) found on the acropolis as well a in the plain. No permanent structures have yet been found. It is therefore unclear whether a permanent settlement existed at that time.

The first known settlement from the Early Helladic period (3000-2000 BC) was located in the plain. A granary and several other buildings as well as a pottery kiln have been found so far. This settlement was moved to the top of the Acropolis in the Middle Helladic period (2000-1600 BC), because the plain was flooded from the nearby lagoon. In the Late Helladic period (1600-1100 BC) the population dwindled and the remains found so far have been interpreted as an observation post. The site was abandoned during the Dark Ages.

Archaic to Roman period

The oldest archaeological finds date the foundation of the city to the 9th century BC. It was probably founded as the harbour of Lefkandi, which is located 15km to the west. .The name Eretria comes from the Greek: ἐρέτης (rower), which makes Eretria the "City of the Rowers". Eretria's population and importance increased after Lefkandi's destruction by fire in 825 BC.

The earliest surviving mention of Eretria was by Homer ("Iliad" 2.537), who listed Eretria as one of the Greek cities which sent ships to the Trojan War. In the 8th century BC, Eretria and her near neighbour and rival, Chalcis, were both powerful and prosperous trading cities. Eretria controlled the Aegean islands of Andros, Tenos and Ceos. They also held land in Boeotia on the Greek mainland. Eretria was also involved in the Greek colonisation and founded the colonies of Pithekoussai and Cumae in Italy together with Chalcis.

At the end of the 8th century BC, however, Eretria and Chalcis fought a prolonged war (known mainly from the account in Thucydides as the Lelantine War) for control of the fertile Lelantine plain. Little is known of the details of this war, but it is clear that Eretria was defeated, her mother-city Lefkandi was destroyed and Eretria lost her lands in Boeotia and her Aegean dependencies. Neither Eretria nor Chalcis ever again counted for much in Greek politics.

As a result of this defeat, Eretria turned to colonisation. She planted colonies in the northern Aegean, on the coast of Macedon, in Italy and Sicily.

The Eretrians were Ionians and were thus natural allies of Athens. When the Ionian Greeks in Asia Minor rebelled against Persia in 499, Eretria joined Athens in sending aid to the rebels, because Miletus supported Eretria in the Lelantine War. As a result, Darius made a point of punishing Eretria during his invasion of Greece. In 490 the city was sacked and burned by the Persians under the admiral Datis and the population was deported to Mesopotamia. The Apollo Temple, which was build at around 510 BC was destroyed by the Persians. Parts of pediment were found in 1900, for example the torso of an Athena statue.

Eretria was rebuilt shortly afterwards and took part with 600 hoplites in the battle of Plataea (479 BC). During the 5th century BC the whole of Euboea became part of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. Eretria and other cities of Euboea rebelled unsuccessfully against Athens in 446 BC. During the Peloponnesian War Eretria was an Athenian ally against her Dorian rivals Sparta and Corinth. But soon the Eretrians, along with the rest of the Empire, found Athenian domination oppressive. When the Spartans defeated the Athenians at the battle of Eretria in 411 BC, the Euboian cities all rebelled.

After her eventual defeat by Sparta in 404 BC, Athens soon recovered and re-established her hegemony over Euboea, which was an essential source of grain for the urban population. The Eretrians rebelled again in 349 BC and this time the Athenians could not recover control. In 343 BC supporters of Philip II of Macedon gained control of the city, but the Athenians under Demosthenes recaptured it in 341 BC.

The Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, in which Philip defeated the combined armies of the Greeks, marked the end of the Greek cities as independent states and Eretria dwindled to become a provincial town. In 198 BC it was plundered by the Romans. In 87 BC it was finally destroyed in the Mithridatic Wars and abandoned.

Modern Revival

The modern town of Eretria was established in 1824, after Greek independence, and is now a popular beachside resort. Excavations of ancient Eretria began in the 1890s and have been conducted since 1964 by the Greek Archaeological Service (11th Ephorate of Antiquities) and the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece, who also established its archaeological museum, which displays finds from Eretria and Lefkandi.

The town can be reached from Attica by ferry or via Chalcis by car. It's an important station on the way to the south of the island. It has many taverns and a long beach promenade. The archaeological excavations are located on the northern edge of the modern town.

[ GNU Photos Eretria]

Historical population

ee also

*List of traditional Greek place names

External links

* [ ESAG - Eretria] The Swiss School Website of the excavations at Eretria
* [ Perseus - Eretria] Links to resources about ancient Eretria
* [ Greek Ministry of Culture]
* [ Eretria Ferry boats]

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  • Eretria — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Este es un artículo sobre la ciudad griega de Eretria en Eubea. No debe ser confundida con la Eretria de Magnesia occidental, Grecia o la actual nación africana de Eritrea. Eretria (Ερέτρια) | Periferia: Grecia… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Eretria — – Fouilles et recherches est une collection d’ouvrages scientifiques, publiée par l’École suisse d’archéologie en Grèce (ESAG). Historique Depuis 1964, l’École suisse d’archéologie en Grèce dégage et étudie les vestiges de l’ancienne Érétrie,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Eretria — Eretria,   im Altertum zweitgrößte Stadt der Insel Euböa und seit dem Lelantinischen Krieg (2. Hälfte des 7. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.) Rivalin von Chalkis. Ihre Blütezeit hatte sie im 8. und 7. Jahrhundert v. Chr.; wegen Teilnahme am Ionischen… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • ERETRIA — Euboeae urbs clarissima. Mela. l. 1. Hom. Il. 2. Ab Eretrio Phaetontis fil. dicta, quem ex Titanum numero fuisse tradunt. Steph. Est etiam Thessaliae urbs. Ptol. vulgo Vatia. Harum prior, sc. Eretria, Euboeae, patria Menedemi fuit, qui scholâ… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Eretrĭa — (a. Geogr.), 1) Stadt auf der SWKüste Euböas, Colonie der Eleer, angeblich nach Eretrieus, Sohn des Phaëthon, benannt, früher Arotria; wurde 490 v. Chr. von Darios zerstört, nachher aber wieder aufgebaut u. durch Handel sehr blühend; sie legte… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Eretrĭa — Eretrĭa, alte ionische, besonders im 6. Jahrh. v. Chr. durch Schiffahrt und Handel blühende Stadt auf der Südwestküste von Euböa, legte in Gemeinschaft mit dem nahen Chalkis auf der Halbinsel Chalkidike Kolonien an, geriet dann aber mit demselben …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Eretria — Eretrĭa, ion. Stadt auf Euböa, mit Chalkis rivalisierend, 490 v. Chr. von den Persern zerstört, später wieder hergestellt. Der Philosoph Menedemus (s.d.) stiftete hier die Eretrĭsche Schule …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Eretria — Eretria, alte Stadt auf der Insel Euböa, 490 von den Persern zerstört; Neu E. gelangte nie zur Blüte des alten E …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • erétria — s. f. Espécie de alvaiade medicinal …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Eretria — Gemeinde Eretria Δήμος Ερέτριας …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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