- "These ruins are a good reminder of the devastation the Persians left behind."
- ―Kassandra upon visiting the ruins, 420s BCE[src]
The town was a thriving city in the 5th century BCE, when it shared a fierce rivalry with its neighbor, Chalkis. The two competed incessantly for trade and hegemony until the second Persian invasion where Eretria was devastated. Despite some progress in rebuilding, the city was never able to regain its former power, and its archrival seized upon this opportunity to try and subjugate Eretria at last, enslaving its inhabitants.