‘Halkida' in demotic Greek, ‘Negroponte' to the Venetians, and Egriboz to the Ottomans – is the capital of the nome of Euboea. Chalcis was throughout antiquity the chief city of Euboea. Its position, controlling the narrowest point of the Euripus channel and the principal crossing to the mainland (first bridged in 411 BC) with harbours both north and south of the city, destined it to considerable commercial importance. Little of the ancient city has survived: there are some remains from the Late Geometric period, but little is known of the exact whereabouts of the earlier Mycenaean city of the ‘big-hearted…Elephenor' and of his ‘swift Abantes' of which Homer speaks (Iliad II, 536-540). The western shoulder of the hill of Vathrovoúni, overlooking the water south of the city, was the acropolis of ancient Chalcis. Rescue excavations there for the construction of a new general hospital (scheduled to open in 2020? but closed to visitors meanwhile) revealed a substantial classical through Roman settlement and one sanctuary/altar.
The city was taken in 338 BC by Philip of Macedon, who settled a garrison on the mainland side of the Euripus. In the 2nd century BC it was largely under Roman control, and was attacked punitively in 146 BC (in the same year that Corinth was also razed by the Romans) for disloyalty during the struggle between Rome and the Achaean Confederacy.
In the 6th century AD, the Emperor Justinian had an innovative, movable bridge constructed on the Euripus so as to increase the ease of passage for commerce. The city appears to have maintained a discreet commercial importance throughout the Byzantine period, with the production and trade of silk becoming a new and increasinlgy important element of its economy. In 1210 Chalcis was seized by the Venetians, who fortified it with walls and made it the capital of their kingdom of Negroponte. With considerable expense of military force the Turkish forces of Mehmet the Conqueror took the city in 1470, built their castle of Karababa over the Venetian fort, and as Egriboz became the headquarters of the Kaptan Paşa. The Venetian admiral and doge, Francesco Morosini, tried to regain the city in 1688 but had to call off his siege after four thousand of his troops had died of malaria. The city was only freed of Turkish control in 1833 when the whole island of Euboea became part of the independent Greek state. Chronique des Fouilles linkWikidata ID: Q21235810
Info: McGilchrist's Greek Islands
(From McGilchrist’s Greek Islands, © Nigel McGilchrist 2010, excerpted with his gracious permission. Click for the books)