: Eth. Ὠρείτης
: the territory Ὡρία
, Strab. x. p.445
), formerly called HISTIAEA (Ἱστίαια,
), a town in the north of Euboea, situated upon the river Callas, at the foot of Mt. Telethrium, and opposite Antron on the Thessalian coast. From this town the whole northern extremity of Euboea was named Histiaeotis (Ἱστιαιῶτις,
Ion. Ἱστιαιῆτις, Hdt. 7.23
According to some it was a colony from the Attic demus of Histiaea (Strab. x. p.445
); according to others it was founded by the Thessalian Perrhaebi. (Scymn. Ch. 578
It was one of the most ancient and most important of the Euboean cities.
It occurs in Homer, who gives it the epithet of πολυστάφυλος
); and Scylax mentions it as one of the four cities of Euboea (p. 22).
After the battle of Artemisium, when the Grecian fleet sailed southwards, Histiaea was occupied by the Persians. (Hdt. 7.23
.) Upon the expulsion of the Persians from Greece, Histiaea, with the other Euboean towns, became subject to Attica.
In the revolt of Euboea from Athens in B.C. 445, we may conclude that Histiaea took a prominent part, since Pericles, upon the reduction of the island, expelled the inhabitants from the city, and peopled it with 2000 Athenian colonists.
The expelled Histiaeans were said by Theopompus to have withdrawn to Macedonia. (Thuc. 1.114
; Diod. 12.7
; Plut. Per. 23
; Theopomp. ap. Strab. x. p.445
.) From this time we find the name of the town changed to Oreus, which was originally a demus dependent upon Histiaea. (Strab. l.c.; Paus. 7.26.4
It is true that Thucydides upon one occasion subsequently calls the town by its ancient name (7.57); but he speaks of it as Oreus, in relating the second revolt of Euboea in B.C. 411, where he says that it was the only town in the island that remained faithful to Athens. (Thuc. 8.95
At the end of the Peloponnesian War, Oreus became subject to Sparta; the Athenian colonists were doubtless expelled, and a portion at least of its ancient inhabitants restored; and accordingly we read that this town remained faithful to Sparta and cherished a lasting hatred against Athens. (Diod. 15.30
.) Neogenes, supported by Jason of Pherae, made himself tyrant of Oreus for a time; but he was expelled by Therippidas, the Lacedaemonian commander ; and the Athenian Chabrias endeavoured in vain to obtain possession of the town. (Diod. l.c.
) But shortly afterwards, before the battle of Leuctra, Oreus revolted from Sparta. (Xen. Hell. 5.4. 56
) In the subsequent war between Philip and the Athenians, a party in Oreus was friendly to Philip; and by the aid of this monarch Philistides became tyrant of the city (Dem. Phil.
iii. pp. 119, 127, de Cor.
p. 248; Strab. l.c.
); but the Athenians, at the instigation of Demosthenes, sent an expedition against Oreus, which expelled Philistides, and, according to Charax, put him to death. (Dem. de Cor.
p. 252; Charax, ap. Steph. s. v. Ὠρέος.
) In consequence of its geographical position and its fortifications, Oreus became an important place in the subsequent wars.
In the contest between Antigonus and Cassander it was besieged by the latter, who was, however, obliged to retire upon the approach of Ptolemy, the general of Antigonus. (Diod. 19.75
In the first war between the Romans and Philip, it was betrayed to the former by the commander of the Macedonian garrison, B.C. 207. (Liv. 28.6
In the second war it was taken by the Romans by assault, B.C. 200. (Liv. 31.46
.) Soon afterwards, in B.C. 196, it was declared free by T. Quinctius Flamininus along with the other Grecian states. (Polyb, 18.28, 30; Liv. 33.31
.) Pliny mentions it among the cities of Euboea no longer existent in his time (Plin. Nat. 4.21. s. 21
), but it still occurs in the lists of Ptolemy, under the corrupt form of Σωρεός
Strabo says that Orens was situated upon a lofty hill named Drymus (x. p. 445). Livy describes it as having two citadels, one overhanging the sea and the other in the middle of the city (28.6).
There are still some remains of the ancient walls at the western end of the bay, which is still called the bay of Oreós.
(Stephani, Reise, &c.
pp. 33, seq.; Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. iv. p. 352.)