Evia has been inhabited already from the pre-historic times. The first major settlement was Chaldiki. This town is the closest to the mainland. There were copper mines and trade was driven. The name of the island means "rich in cattle". In the 5th century BC was Evia part of the Athenian Leage and stood against Persia, that destoyed the city Eritria. In the 4th and 5th century it was a major cultural center. In the 3rd and 2nd century BC Evia was besieged by the Romans and the island became part of the Roman Empire. In the Byzantine Period were many churches and monasteries were built on the island. The island had to resist many attacks by pirates. In the 13th century the island became a part of the Venetian empire, and after that it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. The war of independence against the Turkish occupation began in 1821.