Eretria, an ancient city of the island of Eu-boea, situated a few miles S. E. of Chalcis, whose rival it was in commerce. It was founded prior to the Trojan war, and became rich, powerful, and one of the chief maritime states of Greece. It was early engaged in disputes with the Chal-cians, and for having given assistance to the Ionic cities of Asia in their revolt from Persia it was razed to the ground by the Persians in 490 B. 0. It was soon rebuilt S. of the old site, and took part in the Peloponnesian war. The philosopher Menedemus, a disciple of Plato, here established a celebrated school of philosophy. The ruins of the city are still visible.
Eridanus, the Greek name of a large northern river which AEschylus confounded with the Rhodanus (Rhone), but which later writers made identical with the Roman Padus, or modern Po, the chief river of North Italy. According to Hesiod and the tragic poets, Phaethon, in a futile attempt to guide the chariot of his father Helios, was struck with a thunderbolt by Jupiter, and fell into this river. His sisters, the Heliadae, were changed into poplar trees, and their tears into amber, for which this river was chiefly famous. The name was also given to a river of Attica, which flowed into the Ilis-sus near Athens.
Erik Pontoppidan, a Danish author, born in Aarhuus, Aug. 24, 1698, died in Bergen, Norway, Dec. 20, 1764. He graduated in divinity at the university of Copenhagen, became professor of theology there in 1738, and bishop of Bergen in 1747. In 1730 he published a description of the geography, natural history, antiquities, etc, of Denmark, under the title of Theatrum Danim Veteris et Moder-nce, and afterward treated the same subjects more fully in his Danske Atlas, eller Kongeri-get Dmnemark (7 vols. 4to, Copenhagen, 1763-'74). Among his other works are: Gesta et Vestigia Danorum extra Daniam (3 vols., Leip--sic, 1740-'41); Arinales Ecclesim Danicce (4 vols., 1741-'52); Glossarium Nbrvegicum (Bergen, 1749); and Detforste Forsog paa Norges naturlige Historic (1752), which has been translated into English. He was the first to give an account of the kraken.
Ermeland (Pol. Warmia), a region of East Prussia, between the rivers Passarge and Fri-sching; area, about 1,600 sq. m.; pop. about 200,000. It has formed a bishopric successively under the Teutonic knights, under the crown of Poland, and, since the first partition of that country in 1772, under Prussia.
Erneste Capocci Di Belmonte, an Italian astronomer, born at Picinisco, March 28, 1798. He was early employed in the observatory of Naples, under the direction of his uncle, the chevalier Luccari, and that of his successors. His labors relating to the orbits of new comets and spots on the sun were regarded as very valuable. For Encke's celestial atlas he prepared (1839-'42) the difficult description of the 18th hour of the heavens, for which he received the acknowledgments of the academy of Berlin. He was appointed director of the observatory of Naples, but lost the place on account of his sympathy with the liberal movement, as a member of the Italian parliament (1848-'9). He was reinstated in his position after the establishment of the kingdom of Italy, and named senator, but has since retired. He wrote a historical novel, Le premier vice-roi de Naples (Paris, 1838).