Euboea is the name of four women in Greek mythology
Euboea ( Island of Evia) or Chalchis (the capital of the island), a naiad, daughter of the Boeotian river-god Asopus and of Metope. Poseidon abducted her. The island of Euboea (or the city of Chalcis, located on that island) was given her name. Some authors call her the mother of the Curetes and Corybantes (under the name Chalcis).
Euboea, one of the daughters of the river-god Asterion. She and her sisters, Acraea and Prosymna, were the nurses of Hera.
Euboea, one of the daughters of Thespius and Megamede. She bore Heracles a son Olympus.
Euboea, daughter of Macareus, king of Locris. She bore Apollo a son, Agreus.
In Greek mythology, the Naiads or Naiades (Ναϊάδες from the Greek νάειν, "to flow," and νἃμα, "running water") were a type of nymph who presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, and brooks.
They are distinct from river gods, who embodied rivers, and the very ancient spirits that inhabited the still waters of marshes, ponds and lagoon-lakes, such as pre-Mycenaean Lerna in the Argolid.
Naiads were associated with fresh water, as the Oceanids were with saltwater and the Nereids specifically with the Mediterranean, but because the Greeks thought of the world's waters as all one system, which percolated in from the sea in deep cavernous spaces within the earth, there was some overlap. Arethusa, the nymph of a spring, could make her way through subterranean flows from the Peloponnesus, to surface on the island of Sicily.
The history of the island is for the most part that of its two principal cities, Chalcis and Eretria. Both cities were Ionian settlements from Attica, and their importance in early times is shown by their numerous colonies in Magna Graecia and Sicily, such as Cumae and Rhegium, and on the coast of Macedonia. In this way they opened new trade routes to the Greeks, and extended the field of western civilization.
The strength of their commerce is shown by the fact that the Euboic scale of weights and measures was used in Athens until Solon, and among the Ionic cities generally. They were rival cities, and appear to have been equally powerful at first; one of the earliest of the sea battles mentioned in Greek history took place between them, and it is also said that many of the other Greek states took part.
In 490 BC, Eretria was utterly ruined and its inhabitants were transported to Persia. Though it was restored after the Battle of Marathon, on a site at a little distance from its original position, it never regained its former eminence, but it was still the second city on the island. From this time its neighbour Chalcis held an undisputed supremacy. Already, however, this city had suffered from the growing power of Athens. In the year 506 BC the Chalcidians were totally defeated by the Athenians, who established 4,000 Attic settlers on their lands, and seem to have reduced the whole island to a condition of dependence.
Again, in 446 BC, when Euboea endeavoured to throw off the yoke, it was once more reduced by Pericles, and a new body of settlers was planted at Histiaea in the north of the island, after the inhabitants of that town had been expelled. The Athenians fully recognized its importance to them, for supplying them with grain (i.e., wheat) and cattle, securing their commerce, and guaranteeing them against piracy, because its proximity to the coast of Attica rendered it extremely dangerous to them when in other hands. But in 410 BC the island succeeded in regaining its independence. After this it took sides with one or other of the leading states, until, after the Battle of Chaeronea, it passed into the hands of Philip II of Macedon, and finally into those of the Romans.
The sources of the river Lilas come from the mountain of Dyrfis. The river transfers soil which settles on the Lilantion Pedion and therefore makes the area exceptionally fertile. This productive plain caused the rivalry of the two most important cities of Evia. Halkida and Eretria raged long-term wars which resulted to the destruction of both. Since then, no other city dared to claim the area. The long warfare for Lilantion Pedion seems a bit obscure. It is not yet clear if the victory belonged to the Halkideans or if there was indeed a victorious part after all. The war ended with a great fight of the cavalry, during which Kleomachos – an ally of Halkideans from Thessalia – was distinguished with his heroic death.
The historian Stravon speaks of a quite curious agreement between the two opponents which demonstrates the heroic spirit of that time. According to this agreement, there was only permitted physical involvement in battle. The use of weapons such as bows, arrows and catapults was banned.
HESIOD AND HOMER
During the fight for Lilantion Pedion, the Halkidean king Amphidamas fell. His sons and his brother, Panides, arranged a poetry contest between the poets Hesiod and Homer, to his memory. Hesiod won the prize, which he dedicated to the temple of the Muses that is found in Helikon. They say that Homer’s poem was better but it spoke of war. So the judges, tired of the long-term battles denied him the prize.
With the Lilantean Wars, the two cities, Halkida and Eretria begin to decline. During the Persian Wars, the Evian cities offered their help, while Eretria suffers ultimate destruction due to the aid she offered to the cities of Minor Asia against the Persians.
The alliance between Halkida, Thebes and Sparta against Athens also has destructive results for Halkida. This is the period when the class of ippovotes is lost.
There comes also a time of revolutions against Athens, and an alliance with Thebes during the battle at Leuktra.
In 334BC, Halkida grows bigger and acquires a fort.
The Macedoneans become its rulers and the Romans follow. During the time of Justinian, a bridge and its fortification is mended. It is probably at that time that the Old-Christian church of Aghia Paraskevi is built.
In 880BC, the general Oeneates defeats the Saracens of Osman Amira, using the Greek Fire.
A view of the old bridge
This early XIXth century print shows the old stone bridge and the little castle protecting it. A drawbridge allowed access to the main gate of the town.
Lordship of Negroponte
According to the division of Byzantine territory (the Partitio terrarum imperii Romanie), Euboea was awarded to Boniface of Montferrat, King of Thessalonica. Boniface in turn ceded the island as a fief to the Flemish noble Jacques d' Avesnes, who fortified Chalkis. After his death in mid-1205 however, the island was ceded to three Veronese barons: Ravano dalle Carceri, Giberto dalle Carceri and Pecoraro da Mercanuovo. They divided the island into three baronies: the northern, based at Oreoi (Italian: terzero del Rio), the southern, ruled from Karystos (Italian: terzero di Caristo), and the central portion, ruled from Chalkis (Italian: terzero della Clissura), which served also as overall capital of the island (città de' Lombardi). This division became known as the "triarchy", and the barons became known as the terzieri. By 1209 however, Ravano had established himself as sole master of Euboea, styling himself as dominus insulae Nigropontis.
Having allied himself with an unsuccessful Lombard rebellion against the Latin Emperor, Henry of Flanders, Ravano was eager to find a powerful protector. Thus, in March 1209, he signed an alliance with Venice, which recognized Venetian overlordship and gave the Venetians significant commercial privileges. In May, however, in an act of political balancing, Ravano also acknowledged his vassalage to the Latin Empire.
However, already after the death of Ravano in 1216, his heirs disagreed over the succession, allowing the Venetian bailli to intervene as a mediator. He partitioned the three baronies in two, creating thus a hexarchy. In 1255 however, the death of Carintana dalle Carceri, triarch of Oreoi and wife to William II of Villehardouin, nominal overlord of Negroponte, led to the so-called "War of the Terciers of Euboea" (Guerre des terciers de l'Eubée), which involved Achaea and Venice. On 14 June 1256, Guglielmo da Verona and Narzotto dalle Carceri, Carintana's heirs, repudiated their allegiance to William and pledged themselves to Venice. William responded by capturing Chalkis, which the Venetians retook in 1258. The war ended in the battle of Karydi in 1259, where William defeated the Duke of Athens, Guy I de la Roche, who had allied himself with the rebellious triarchs. Finally, in August 1259, Doge Reniero Zeno negotiated a peace, followed by a treaty in 1262, which recognized William's suzerainty over the island.
Negroponte means black (negro) bridge (ponte), most likely a reference to the bridge between the Greek mainland and the island. The term black is perhaps due to the deep waters under the bridge which provoke fear or to the slave trade that took place on the bridge.
The island of Euboea is parallel to the coast of the mainland and approximately at the middle of the channel (of Egripos) the distance between the island and the mainland is just of a few meters. The current is so strong and in addition it often changes direction that since ancient times a bridge has been in place.
By that time, however, the Empire of Nicaea had established itself as the foremost power in the area of the former Byzantine Empire, reconquering several territories from the Latins. Its successes culminated in the recapture of Constantinople in 1261 and the reestablishment of the Byzantine Empire, whose energetic ruler, Michael VIII Palaeologus, sought to reconquer the remaining Latin principalities in southern Greece. To this end, he accepted the services of Licario, an Italian renegade, who had his base near Karystos. Under Licario's command, Byzantine troops soon conquered most of Euboea, except Chalkis. After the departure of Licario sometime after 1280 however, with Venetian aid, the island gradually returned to Latin control. By 1296, Bonifazio da Verona had completely expelled the Byzantines from Euboea.
In 1470, after a 28-day resestance, Mohamed the Conqueror takes control of Halkida, losing 77.000 soldiers. Halkida drowns in its blood and the Venetian ruler meets his death by sawing at the bridge.
Halkida becomes the headquarters to the administration of ‘Egriboz’. Murozini attempts to regain control, but he fails.
In 1821, Evia revolts but four years later the revolution is brought to an end. However, the city is liberated in 1833. Great figures that are distinguished in battle are Aggelis Govios from Limni and Kriezotis.
AFTER THE LIBERATION
In 1830, when the rest of Greece was already liberated from the Turkish occupation, there come the protocols of London. The Turks are recognized as the legal owners of the island, so the financially ruined Greeks have to pay for them in order to get them back. What’s more, they have to meet the standards of the rich Europeans who come to buy the wealthiest parts and become landowners. In 1833, Evia becomes a part of the Greek Government
1204 Venice acquires the island of Euboea (at the time called Negroponte after the name of its main town) as a consequence of the fall of the Byzantine Empire
1470 The Turks seize Negroponte and this gain is confirmed by the peace treaty signed at the end of the first Venetian-Turkish war (1463-79)
1688 Vain attempt by the Venetian commander Francesco Morosini to conquer Negroponte
The fortress of Carà Babà - exterior
In addition to the walls and the castle on the bridge, Negroponte was protected by a fortress built on a hill on the mainland opposite the town. The fortress was greatly strengthened by the Turks and it played a major role in the defeat of the Venetian attempts to seize the town in 1688. During a major assault a strong current pushed the Venetian fleet close to the fortress and the Turkish artillery hit many ships.
The citadel and Turkish merlons
Some parts of the fortress have a Venetian appearance, while some details are typical of Turkish fortresses. A citadel inside the fortress provided a last opportunity for defence.
Towers and a castle near Vasilika
In addition to the fortifications of Negroponte the security of the island was based on a series of watch towers and small castles near the coast. The fortress of Castelrosso (or Caristo) controlled the southern entrance of the Channel of Egripos and that of Oreo the northern one.
Walking in the ancient quarter of Kastro
Ancient Greece: head of a horse; Roman statue of Antinoo; a Jewish inscription