Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 6.1890-1897 (1897)

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ERETRIA: HISTORICAL SKETCH.

63

Phoenicians, Ionians, and .ZEolians, gave to Eretria that alertness which
marked it in a peculiar degree.

In the long period of prosperity before the Lelantine War, which
made Chalcis and Eretria famous, a sad emerging into history, the two
cities went hand in hand. This Curtius finds indicated by the name
" Euboeic talent," supposing that had the cities been antagonistic the
talent would have been named after one or the other of them.6 Perhaps
they made a mistake in founding colonies conjointly or near together,
as in Chaleidice.7 When the war broke out it is supposed to have
been conducted with a bitterness8 which seems to have been born years
before. It is not unlikely that colonial troubles had as much to do
with the break as the rich plain between the two cities.9 The quarrel
was fought out with the help of many allies on each side.10 The Greek
world was divided into two hostile camps, a division which showed
itself for centuries. Eretria was vanquished without losing her inde-
pendence or her honorable standing. The two neighbor cities never
tried conclusions again, and lived amicably, except when the questions
connected with Athenian or Macedonian rule in later times threw them
temporarily into hostile camps. Eretria, however, appears to have had
a good understanding with Athens in the very period when, shortly
before the Persian Wars, Chalcis was conquered by Athens and made
an Athenian possession.

The date of the Lelantine War is shown by Curtius 11 to have been
the middle of the eighth century B. c. Eretria had still nearly three
centuries of history before its first destruction. It now abandoned
that extensive scheme of colonization which, with its rivalries, must
have been quite a drain upon its population, and now probably reached
its maximum. To this time we may refer the stele in the temple of
Artemis Amarysia,12 the principal sanctuary of Eretria, standing about

6 Hermes, x, p. 223. 5 Eretria took as its field Athos and Pallene; Strabo, 447.

8 The curious compact mentioned in the corrupt passage in Stkabo, p. 448, not to
use weapons thrown from a distance (fj.ii xPV^Sai rr)Ke$6\ois), may refer to the heat
of the struggle in which both parties wished to kill at close quarters, or to a desire to
rule out what seemed to them contrary to proper procedure on the part of scientific
warriors. Plutarch, Thes., 5, and the passage there quoted from AECiilLOCHrs
would favor the latter view.

9 E. Curtius, in Hermes, x, p. 219. "Holm, Lange Fehde; Thue., i. 15.

11 Hermes, x, p. 220.

12 This title, which survives in the name of the Attic village Marousi (Leake, Demi
of Attica, p. 41), was one under which the goddess was worshipped in Attica with no
less zeal than at Eretria. Paus., i. 31. 4.
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