Information about the place ISTIEA (Ancient city) EVIA - GTP + Greek Travel Pages

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The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites

Histiaia

  The ancient site can be associated quite confidently with the prominent terraced hill (Kastro) situated at the very E limits of the modern village of Orei on the N coast of the island. In later antiquity the town came to be known more commonly as Oreos (e.g., Strab. 10.1.3), the name of an old deme in the neighborhood (probably Molos, a small headland located a few km to the W of Orei).
  Histiaia was the most important Classical town in the region. Its importance was based not only on its strategic position overlooking the narrows leading to the North Euboian Gulf but on its control of the large and fertile coastal plain on which the city lay. Trial excavation and surface reconnaissance have demonstrated that the site was already flourishing in the Bronze Age, and Homer (Il. 2.537) testifies to the fertility of the surrounding plain by describing it as rich in vines. Surface finds suggest that it continued to be occupied during the Early Iron Age, probably by the Aiolic-speaking Ellopians or Perrhaibians who seem to have replaced the Homeric Abantes. In 480 B.C. the city and its environs were overrun by the Persians (Hdt. 8.23). After the Persian Wars it became a member of the Delian Confederacy, contributing the rather modest sum of 1/6 talent. In 446 the Euboians revolted and were promptly reduced by Athens (Thuc. 1.114.3); but Histiaia was treated more severely than the other Euboian cities. (Plut. Per. 23 attributes the severity of the puhishment to the Histiaian seizure of an Athenian ship and the murder of its crew.) Perikles sent off the existing population of the city to Macedonia and replaced them with a cleruchy of 1000 (Diod. 12.22) or 2000 (Theopompos in Strab. 10.1.3) Athenians who may have temporarily settled at the old site of Oreos. In any event, the city was commonly referred to by that name thereafter. The exiled population probably returned home at the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404; thereafter they seem to have been largely under the control of Sparta until they joined the Second Athenian Confederacy in 376-375. Although the city appears to have become a member (for the first time) of the reconstituted league of Euboian cities in 340, its allegiance during most of the 4th c. seems to have vacillated between Athens and Macedonia. It was almost exclusively pro-Macedonian during the 3d c., as a result of which it was attacked in 208 and captured in 199 by a Roman-Pergamene force (Livy 28.6, 31.46). The Roman garrison was removed in 194, and--to judge from the wide distribution of its coinage--Histiaia-Oreos prospered during the first half of the 3d c. Thereafter little is known of its history, yet surface finds indicate that the site continued to be inhabited in Roman, Byzantine, and later times. Considerable remains of the later fortifications incorporating a number of Classical blocks can still be seen at Orei, while evidence of ancient harbor installations have been observed at Mobs.
  There has been little excavation at Orei. A small trial excavation produced Early Helladic pottery; a segment of a house wall, a small cist-grave and pottery, all probably of Middle Helladic date; and Late Helladic pottery. The foundations of a Late Byzantine church were also exposed at the S foot of the mound in 1954.

T. W. Jacobsen, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Perseus Project index

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

Oreus

(   (Oreos). A town in the north of Euboea, originally called Hestiaea or Histiaea. After the Persian Wars it became subject to Athens, but having revolted from the Athenians in B.C. 445, it was taken by Pericles, its inhabitants expelled, and their place supplied by 2000 Athenians. It was an important place down to the dissolution of the Achaean League.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)

Oreus

  Oreus (Oreos: Eth. Oreites: the territory Horia, Strab. x. p. 445), formerly called Histiaea (Histiaia, also Estiaia Eth. Histiaieus), 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 (Histiaiotis, Ion. Histiaietis, Herod. vii. 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 polustaphulos (Il. ii. 537); 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. (Herod. vii. 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. i. 114; Diod. xii. 7, 22; 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. vii. 26. § 4.) It is true that Thucydides upon one occasion subsequently calls the town by its ancient name (vii. 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. viii. 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. xv. 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. v. 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. Oreos.) 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. xix. 75, 77.) 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. xxviii. 6.) In the second war it was taken by the Romans by assault, B.C. 200. (Liv. xxxi. 46.) Soon afterwards, in B.C. 196, it was declared free by T. Quinctius Flamininus along with the other Grecian states. (Polyb, xviii. 28, 30; Liv. xxxiii. 31, 34.) Pliny mentions it among the cities of Euboea no longer existent in his time (Plin. iv. 21. s. 21), but it still occurs in the lists of Ptolemy, under the corrupt form of Soreos (iii. 15. § 25).
  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 (xxviii. 6). There are still some remains of the ancient walls at the western end of the bay, which is still called the bay of Oreos. (Stephani, Reise, &c. pp. 33, seq.; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. iv. p. 352.)

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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