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In the 5th century BCE, the two most prominent cities in this region were Chalkis City and Eretria. Rivals to one another for control over trade and hegemony, they warred incessantly until around 480 BCE when Eretria was devastated by the Persians in its second invasion. Unable to recover its former strength, Eretria was attacked by Chalkis not long afterward in an attempt to enslave its people.
- The Abantis Island are named after an ancient Ionian Greek tribe, the Abantes, that made the region their home.
- The emblem of the Abantis Islands is a golden head of a bull. This relates to both the name of Euboea, derived from the Greek words εὖ ('good') and βοῦς ('ox'), as well as the worship of the goddess Artemis, which included oxen in her local temple.