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

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ERETRIA : HISTORICAL SKETCH.

a mile outside the walls, on which stele, according to Strabo, p. 448,
was inscribed a record showing that the Eretrians used to make their
great procession out to the temple with three thousand hoplites, six
hundred cavalry and sixty chariots. To the same time also we may
refer the Eretrian control over Andros, Tenos, Ceos, and other is-
lands.13 About 500 b. c. the Eretrians set up at Olympia the big
bronze bull, the companion piece to the one dedicated by their friends
the Corcyrffians.14

At the time of the famous wooing of Agariste, in the first half of the
sixth century b. c, Eretria was, according to Herod., vi. 127, in its
bloom (av9evar)<; tovtov top ^povov). That Eretria alone of all Greece
shared with Athens the attempt to aid the lonians in their revolt against
Darius (Herod., v. 99), speaks well for its prosperity and its spirit. Two
things we must not forget in connection with this expedition : first, that
it was on Eretria's part the payment of a debt to Miletus for services
rendered in the Lelantine War;15 secondly, that Eretria was in such
intimate relations with Athens as to give some color to the story
mentioned by Strabo, that Eretria was colonized from an Attic
Eretria.

We are not likely to forget the consequences to Eretria of this as-
sistance rendered to the lonians. In the year 490 b. c, when the oppor-
tunity at last came for fulfilling his vow against the Athenians, Da-
rius was not in such haste to take vengeance on these principal abet-
tors of the revolted lonians, now subdued, that he could forget the
Eretrians. On them first fell the blow. The story is told briefly and
graphically by Herodotus (vi. 100). In her hour of need Eretria stood
alone, with divided counsels and traitors in her walls besides. She
did ask Athens for help, and, if we may believe Herodotus, Athens acted
not ungenerously. It could hardly be expected that the main body
of Athenian troops should go over to Euboea to meet the Persians.
That would have been to give Athens to the Persians on the chance
of saving Eretria. But Athens assigned to Eretria the four thousand
Athenian cleruchs of Chalcis. These, however, did not stay. Before
it came to an actual conflict they were off to Oropus, which is the last

"Strabo, p. 448. "Patjs., v. 27. 9.

15 This Ionian revolt was Miletus' affair. It is noteworthy that the Samians, the
enemies of Miletus and Eretria in the Lelantine War, ruined the Ionian cause by de-
serting almost in a body to the Persians in the naval battle on which all was staked;
Hekod., vi. 14.
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