previous next

The long struggle between Chalcis and Eretria for the Lelantine plain, which culminated in a war of pan-Hellenic importance (Thuc. i. 15), would seem to belong to the seventh century. The war between the two principals was fought out with sword and lance (Archil. fr. 4; Strabo 448) by their knightly cavalry (Ar. Pol. 1289 b 36), the Thessalians helping Chalcis to gain the victory (Plut. Mor. 760 f.). But the war was far more than a border feud: it was a struggle between two rival commercial leagues. Eretria was supported by Miletus, and probably by Megara and Aegina, while Chalcis had the help of Samos and Corinth. In the far West, Sybaris was allied to Miletus (vi. 21 n.), and Croton to Samos. Probably the rival Euboean cities were the channels through which the Eastern Greeks could trade with the West. Cf. iii. 59. 4 n.; Busolt, i. 456; Meyer, ii, § 342. Eretria lost all importance for the time, and Chalcis was hardly recompensed for her losses by supremacy not only in Euboea but in the Thracian and Western colonies.

H. lets us see the importance of the contingent from Eretria and of the tie between Eretria and Miletus. He also constantly affirms that the expedition of Datis was directed against Eretria as well as Athens (vi. 43, 94, 98 f.). Myres (J. H. S. xxvi. 96) connects this activity of Eretria with its thalassocracy 505-490 B. C., and suggests that Eretria also had a hand in the great defeat of the Boeotian and Chalcidians (v. 77), which H. represents as a purely Athenian victory.

στρατηγοὺς ... ἀπέδεξε. Aristagoras seems to act as if he were still tyrant (cf. chs. 38, 49, 98).

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Aristotle, Politics, 4.1289b
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.15
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: