Χαλκίδα: the chief town of Euboea, on the strait of Euripus at its very narrowest part; separated from Boeotia by a channel so narrow that plans are making to blast away the rocks, in order to open the way for steamers of ordinary size. In the early times of Greek history, Chalcis exhausted its own strength by sending out colonies,—founding the first Greek settlement in the West (Cumae in Campania), and the first in Sicily (Naxos, about 735 B.C.), and sending so many colonies to the southern shore of Thrace as to give its name to the great promontory of Chalcidice.Εἰρετρίαν: the later Eretria. The short quantity of “ε” before “τρ” is unusual in Homer, see § 41 i. πολυστάφυλον: cf. “Εὐβοίης ἀμπελόεν πεδίον” Theognis 784, “πολὺν πιὼν Εὐβοϊκὸν οἶνον” Alexis Frag. 299. Ἱστίαιαν: trisyllabic by synizesis; cf. “πόλιος” v. 811, “σχετλίη Γ” 414, see § 7 a. The city was founded by the Hestiaeans (“ἱστίη” Ion. for Att. “ἑστία”) who were crowded out of Thessaly by the Perrhaebians.
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