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Ancient Rhodes Greek island and city situated about 11 miles southwest of Turkey in the eastern Aegean Sea. The island controlled the entry into Aegean Sea from the southeast and was a major place for trade in ancient times. It was originally settled in by the Minoans and Mycenaeans, then by Dorian Greeks. Rhodes was supported by Alexander with naval forces and was important in Hellenistic era. The Bible mentions Rhodes in Ezekiel 27:15 and Acts 21:1. Rhodes was famous for the Colossus of Rhodes which was considered to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Ezek. 27:15 - The men of Dedan [were] thy merchants; many isles [were] the merchandise of thine hand: they brought thee [for] a present horns of ivory and ebony.
Acts 21:1 - And it came to pass, that after we were gotten from them, and had launched, we came with a straight course unto Coos, and the [day] following unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara.
Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos, [ˈrođos]) is a Greek island approximately 18 kilometres (11 mi) southwest of Turkey in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007 of which 53,709 resided in the homonymous capital city of the island. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. - Wikipedia
Rhodus (Ρόδος). Now Rhodos, Rhodes; the most easterly island of the Aegaean, or, more specifically, of the Carpathian Sea, lying off the southern coast of Caria, due south of the promontory of Cynossema (Cape Aloupo), at the distance of about twelve geographical miles. Its length, from northeast to southwest, is about forty-five miles; its greatest breadth about twenty to twenty-five. In early times it was called Aethraea and Ophiussa, and several other names. There are various mythological stories about its origin and peopling. Its Hellenic colonization is ascribed to Tlepolemus, the son of Heracles, before the Trojan War, and after that war to Althaemenes. Homer mentions the three Dorian settlements in Rhodes—namely, Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus; and these cities, with Cos, Cnidus, and Halicarnassus, formed the Dorian Hexapolis, which was established, from a period of unknown antiquity, in the southwest corner of Asia Minor. Rhodes soon became a great maritime State, or rather confederacy, the island being parcelled out between the three cities above mentioned. The Rhodians made distant voyages and founded numerous colonies. At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, Rhodes was one of those Dorian maritime States which were subject to Athens; but in the twentieth year of the war, B.C. 412, it joined the Spartan alliance, and the oligarchical party, which had been depressed, and their leaders, the Eratidae, expelled, recovered their former power under Dorieus. In 408 the new capital, called Rhodus, was built, and peopled from the three ancient cities of Ialysus, Lindus, and Camirus. At the Macedonian conquest the Rhodians submitted to Alexander, but upon his death expelled the Macedonian garrison. In the ensuing wars they formed an alliance with Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, and their city, Rhodes, successfully endured a most famous siege by the forces of Demetrius Poliorcetes, who at length, in admiration of the valour of the besieged, presented them with the engines he had used against the city, from the sale of which they defrayed the cost of the celebrated Colossus (q.v.). At length they came into connection with the Romans, whose alliance they joined, with Attalus, king of Pergamus, in the war against Philip III. of Macedon. In the ensuing war with Antiochus the Rhodians gave the Romans great aid with their fleet; and in the subsequent partition of the Syrian possessions of Asia Minor, they were rewarded by the supremacy of Southern Caria, where they had had settlements from an early period. A temporary interruption of their alliance with Rome was caused by their espousing the cause of Perseus, for which they were severely punished (B.C. 168); but they recovered the favour of Rome by the important naval aid they rendered in the Mithridatic War. In the Civil Wars they took part with Caesar, and suffered in consequence from Cassius (B.C. 42), but were afterwards compensated for their losses by the favour of Antonius. They were at length deprived of their independence by Claudius; and their prosperity received its final blow from an earthquake, which laid the city of Rhodes in ruins, in the reign of Antoninus Pius, A.D. 155. - Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.
Rhodus, I. prius Ophiussa, Teluhinis, an isL of Caria, in the Mediterranean, off Cynossenia prom. (!)). In circuit 125 m. Settled byTelchines, Phoenicians, and afterwards by jEolian Pelasgi, under Tlepolemus, son of Hercules. Sacred to the sun, and fabulously peopled by the Ileliadse, children of Apollo by the nymph Rhoda. .The Rhodians excelled in war as darters and stringers. II.its capital, at the n. extremity. Built by Hippodamus of Miletus. Celebrated for its Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the world, cast in bronze by Chares of Lindus. The birth-place of Pansetius, Stratocles, Andronicus, Eudemus, Hieronymus, &c. - Classical Gazetteer
Maps are essential for any serious study, they help students of Roman history understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in historical sources.
The island was inhabited in the Neolithic period,
although little remains of this culture. In the 16th century BC the Minoans came
to Rhodes. Later Greek mythology recalled a Rhodian race called the Telchines,
and associated the island of Rhodes with Danaus; it was sometimes nicknamed
Telchinis. In the 15th century BC, Mycenaean Greeks invaded. After the Bronze
Age collapse the first renewed outside contacts are with Cyprus. In the 8th
century BC the island's settlements started to form, with the coming of the
Dorians, who built the three important cities of Lindos, Ialyssos and Kameiros,
which together with Kos, Cnidus and Halicarnassus (on the mainland) made up the
so-called Dorian Hexapolis (Greek for six cities).
Before archaeology, myth stood in for blanks in the historical record. In Pindar's ode, the island was said to be born of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph Rhode, and the cities were named for their three sons. The rhoda is a pink hibiscus native to the island. Diodorus Siculus added that Actis, one of the sons of Helios and Rhode, travelled to Egypt. He built the city of Heliopolis and taught the Egyptians the science of astrology.
In the second half of the 8th century the sanctuary of Athena received votive gifts that are markers for cultural contacts: small ivories from the Near East and bronze objects from Syria. At Kameiros on the northwest coast, a former Bronze Age site, where the temple was founded in the 8th century, there is another notable contemporaneous sequence of carved ivory figurines. Phoenician presence on the island at Ialysos is attested in traditions recorded much later by Rhodian historians.
The Persians invaded and overran the island, but were in turn defeated by forces from Athens in 478 BC. The cities joined the Athenian League. When the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC, Rhodes remained largely neutral, although it remained a member of the League. The war lasted until 404 BC, but by this time Rhodes had withdrawn entirely from the conflict and decided to go her own way.
In 408 BC the cities united to form one territory. They built the city of Rhodes, a new capital on the northern end of the island. Its regular plan was superintended by the Athenian architect Hippodamus. The Peloponnesian War had so weakened the entire Greek culture that it lay open to invasion. In 357 BC the island was conquered by the king Mausolus of Caria, then it fell to the Persians in 340 BC. Their rule was also short. To the great relief of its citizens, Rhodes became a part of the growing empire of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, after he defeated the Persians.
Following the death of Alexander his generals vied for control of the kingdom. Three: Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Antigonus, succeeded in dividing the kingdom among themselves. Rhodes formed strong commercial and cultural ties  with the Ptolemies in Alexandria, and together formed the Rhodo-Egyptian alliance that controlled trade throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century BC. The city developed into a maritime, commercial and cultural center; its coins circulated nearly everywhere in the Mediterranean. Its famous schools of philosophy, science, literature and rhetoric shared masters with Alexandria: the Athenian rhetorician Aeschines, who formed a school at Rhodes; Apollonius of Rhodes; the observations and works of the astronomers Hipparchus and Geminus, the rhetorician Dionysios Trax. Its school of sculptors developed a rich, dramatic style that can be characterized as "Hellenistic Baroque".
In 305 BC, Antigonus directed his son, Demetrius, to besiege Rhodes in an attempt to break its alliance with Egypt. Demetrius created huge siege engines, including a 180 ft (55 m) battering ram and a siege tower named Helepolis that weighed 360,000 pounds (163,293 kg). Despite this engagement, in 304 BC after only one year, he relented and signed a peace agreement, leaving behind a huge store of military equipment. The Rhodians sold the equipment and used the money to erect a statue of their sun god, Helios, the statue since called the Colossus of Rhodes.
In 164 BC, Rhodes signed a treaty with Rome. It became an educational center for Roman noble families, and was especially noted for its teachers of rhetoric, such as Hermagoras and the unknown author of Rhetorica ad Herennium. At first the state was an important ally of Rome and enjoyed numerous privileges, but these were later lost in various machinations of Roman politics. Cassius eventually invaded the island and sacked the city.
In the 1st century AD, the Emperor Tiberius spent a brief term of exile on Rhodes. Saint Paul brought Christianity to people on the island. Rhodes reached her zenith in the 3rd century. In 395, the long Byzantine Empire-period began for Rhodes, when the eastern half of the Roman empire became gradually more Greek.
Rhodes was occupied by the Muslim forces of Muawiyah I in 672. In circa 1090 it was occupied by the Muslim forces of the Seljuk Turks, not long after the Battle of Manzikert. Rhodes was recaptured by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus during the First Crusade. - Wikipedia
RHODUS (Ρόδος: Eth. ??d???: Rhodes), one of the chief islands of the Aegean, or more properly of that part of the Aegean which is called the Carpathian sea, about 9 or 10 miles from the coast of Caria. In the earliest times it is said to have borne the names of Ophiussa (Steph. B. sub voce ??d??), Stadia, Telchinis (Strab. xvi. p.653), Asteria, Aethraea, Trinacria, Corymbia, Poieessa, Atabyria, Macaria, and Oloëssa. (Plin. Nat. 5.36.) It extends from south to north, and is 920 stadia in circumference (Strab. xiv. p.605), or, according to Pliny, 125 Roman miles, though others reduced it to 103. The island is traversed from north to south by a chain of mountains, the highest point of which was called Atabyris or Atabyrion, and the towns were all situated on the coast. Mount Atabyris is 4560 feet above the level of the sea, and on the top of it stood a temple of Zeus Atabyrius. Rhodes was believed to have at one time risen out of the sea, and the Telchines, its most ancient inhabitants, are said to have immigrated from Crete. (Pind. O. 7.23, &c.; Plin. Nat. 2.87; Aristid. Orat. xliii. p. 653, ed. Dind.; Strab. l.c.; Diod. 5.55.) The Telchines, about. whom many fabulous stories are related, are said to have been nine in number, and their sister Halia or Amphitrite became by Poseidon the mother of six sons and one daughter, Rhodos, from which in the end the island received the name it still bears. Others, however, with better reason, derive the name Rhodus from p??d??, a rose, for the rose appears as a symbol on coins of the island, so that Rhodus would be “the island of Roses.” (Eckhel, vol. ii. p. 602; Sestini, Num. Vet. p. 382.) These most ancient and fabulous Telchines are said to have perished or been driven from the island during an inundation, and Helios then created a new race of inhabitants, who were called after him Heliadae; they were seven in number, and became ancestors of seven tribes, which partly peopled Rhodus itself and partly emigrated to Lesbos, Cos, Caria, and Egypt. The Heliadae are said to have greatly distinguished themselves by the progress they made in the sciences of astronomy and navigation. (Pind. l.c. 160, &c.; Diod. 5.56; Conon, Narrat. 47; Strab. xiv. p.654.) After this various immigrations from foreign countries are mentioned: Egyptians under Danaus, Phoenicians under Cadmus, Thessalians and Carians, are each said to have furnished their contingent to the population of Rhodes. Whatever we may think of these alleged immigrations, they can have but little affected the national character of the Rhodians, which in fact did not become fixed until a branch of the Doric race took possession of the island, after which event the Doric character of its inhabitants became thoroughly established. Some Dorians or Heracleidae appear to have been settled there as early as the Trojan War, for the Heracleid Tlepolemus is described as having sailed to Troy with nine ships. (Il. 2.653; Diod. 4.58, 5.59; Apollod. 2.8.2.) After the Trojan War Aethaemenes, a Heracleid from Argos, led other settlers to Rhodus. (Strab. xiv. p 653; Diod. 15.59; Apollod. 3.2.1; comp. Thuc. 7.57 ; Aristid. Orat. xliv. p. 839.) After this time the Rhodians quietly developed the resources of their island, and rose to great prosperity and affluence.
The three most ancient towns of the island were LINDUS, IALYSUS, and CAMIRUS, which were believed to have been founded by three grandsons of the Heliad Ochimus bearing the same names, or, according to others, by the Heracleid Tlepolemus. (Diod. 4.58, 5.57.) These three towns, together with Cos, Cnidus, and Halicarnassus, formed what was called the Doric hexapolis, which had its common sanctuary on the Triopian headland on the coast of Caria, Apollo being the tutelary deity of the confederation. (Hdt. 1.144.) The rapid progress made by the Rhodian towns at a comparatively early period is sufficiently attested by their colonies in the distant countries of the west. Thus they founded settlements in the Balearic islands, Rhode on the coast of Spain, Parthenope, Salapia, Siris, and Sybaris in Italy, and Gela in [2.714] Sicily; while the countries nearer home were not neglected, for Soli in Cilicia, and Gagae and Corydalla in Lycia, were likewise Rhodian colonies. But notwithstanding this early application to navigation and commerce, for which Rhodes is so admirably situated between the three ancient continents, the Rhodians were not ranked with the great maritime powers of Greece. Herodotus speaks of them only as forming a part of the Doric confederacy, nor does Thucydides mention their island more frequently. The Rhodians, in fact, did not attain to any political eminence among the states of Greece until about B.C. 408, when the three ancient towns conjointly built the city of Rhodes at the northern extremity of the island, and raised it to the rank of a capital. During the first period of the Peloponnesian War the towns of Rhodes paid tribute to Athens, and were reluctantly compelled to serve against Syracuse and Gela in Sicily (Thuc. 7.57); but in B.C. 412 they joined the Peloponnesians. The popular party being favourable to Athens, soon afterwards attempted a reaction, but it was crushed (Diod. 13.38, 45). In B.C. 396, however, when Conon appeared with his fleet in the waters of Rhodes, the Rhodians again embraced the cause of Athens (Diod. 14.79; Paus. 6.7.6); but the democracy which was now established was ill managed, and did not last long; and as early as B.C. 390, the exiled aristocrats, with the assistance of Sparta, recovered their former ascendancy. (Aristot. Pol. 5.4. 2; Xenoph. Hellen. 4.8.20, &c.; Diod. 14.97.) The fear of Sparta's growing power once more threw Rhodes into the hands of the Athenians, but soon after the battle of Leuctra a change again took place; at least the Thebans, in B.C. 364, were zealously engaged in sowing discord for the purpose of drawing Rhodes, Chios, and Byzantium over to their own side. During the Social War, from B.C. 357 to 355, the Rhodians were arrayed against Athens, being instigated by the dynast of Caria and his successor Artemisia. But as they became alarmed by the growing power of the Carian dynasty, they solicited the protection of Athens through the eloquence of Demosthenes. (Demos. de Libert. Rhodior.) The form of government throughout this period was oligarchical, which accounts for the insolent conduct of Hegesilochus, as described in Athenaeus (x. p. 444). Rhodes furnished Darius, the last king of Persia, with one of his bravest and ablest generals in the person of Memnon, who, if he had had the sole direction of affairs, might have checked the victorious career of Alexander, and saved the Persian empire. But as it was, Rhodes, like the rest of Greece, lost its independence, and received a Macedonian garrison (Curt. 4.5). The expulsion of this garrison after the death of Alexander was the beginning of a glorious epoch in the history of Rhodes; for during the wars against the successors of Alexander, and especially during the memorable siege of the city of Rhodes by Demetrius Poliorcetes, the Rhodians gained the highest esteem and regard from all the surrounding princes and nations. During the period which then followed, down to the overthrow of the Macedonian monarchy, Rhodus, which kept up friendly relations with Rome, acted a very prominent part, and extended its dominion over a portion of the opposite coasts of Carlia and Lycia--a territory which is hence often called the ?e?a?a t?? ??d??? [PERAEA]--and over several of the neighbouring islands, such as Casus, Carpathus, Telos, and Chalce. After the defeat of Perseus the Romans deprived the Rhodians of a great amount of territory and power, under the pretext that they had supported Macedonia; but the anger of Rome was propitiated, and in the war against Mithridates the Rhodians defended themselves manfully against the Pontian king. During the civil war between Caesar and Pompey they sided with the former, and their adherence to him led them, after his death, to resist Cassius; but the republican, after defeating them in a naval engagement, entered the city of Rhodes by force, and having put to death the leaders of the hostile party, carried off all the public property, even the offerings and ornaments of the temples (Appian, App. BC 4.72; Plut. Brut. 30; D. C. 47.32). This calamity in B.C. 42 broke the power of the Rhodians, but it still remained one of the great seats of learning. Tiberius, before his accession to the imperial throne, resided at Rhodes for several years. The emperor Claudius deprived it of all political independence (D. C. 60.24); but although he afterwards restored its liberty, it was at all times a very precarious possession, being taken away and given back as circumstances or the caprices of the emperors suggested (Tac. Ann. 12.58; comp. Suet. Vesp. 8; Eutrop. 7.13). In the arrangements of Constantine, Rhodus, like other islands, belonged to the Provincia Insularum, of which it was the metropolis (Hierocles, p. 685, &c.). During the middle ages it continued to enjoy a considerable degree of prosperity, and was the last place in Western Asia that yielded to the Mohammedans.
The great prosperity which the Rhodians enjoyed during the best period of their history was owing in the first place to their extensive navigation and commerce, and in the second to their political institutions. In respect to the former they were particularly favoured by the situation of their island, and during the Macedonian and Roman periods no Greek state could rival them in the extent and organisation of their commerce; their sailors were regarded as the best, and their laws relating to navigation were thought models worthy of being adopted by the Romans. The form of government of the Rhodians was indeed founded upon a popular basis, but their democracy was tempered by an admixture of oligarchy. Such at least we find it during the Macedonian period, at a time when the ancient Doric institutions had given way to a form of government more suited to the actual circumstances. (Strab. xii. p.575, xiv. p. 652; Cic. de Re Publ. 1.31; Dion Chrys. Orat. xxxi.; Aristid. Orat. xliv. p. 831.) The sovereign power belonged to the assembly of the people, which had the final decision of everything; but nothing was brought before it which had not previously been discussed by the senate or ß????. (Plb. 16.35, 23.3, 27.6, 28.15, 29.5; Cic. de Re Publ. 3.35) The executive was in the hands of two magistrates called p??t??e??, each of whom governed for six months in the year as eponymus. Next to these, the admirals (?a?a????) possessed the most extensive power. Other officers are mentioned in inscriptions, but their character and functions are often very uncertain. The Rhodian constitution had its safest foundation in the character and habits of the people, who, although the vicinity of Asia had a considerable influence and created a love of splendour and luxury, yet preserved many of their ancient Doric peculiarities, such as earnestness, perseverance, valour, and patriotism, combined with an [2.715] active zeal for literature, philosophy, and art. The intellectual activity maintained itself in Rhodes long after it had died away in most other parts of Greece.
The island of Rhodes, which appears even in the earliest traditions as extremely wealthy (Hom. Il. 2.670; Pind. O. 7.49; Philostr. Imag. 2.27), is in many parts indeed rough and rocky, especially the coast near the city of Rhodes, and the district about Lindus, but on the whole it was extremely fertile: its wine, dried raisins and figs, were much esteemed, and its saffron, oil, marble, achate, sponges, and fish, are often spoken of. The most important productions of Rhodian industry were ships, arms, and military engines. Besides the places already mentioned, the ancients notice Ixia and Mnasyrium, two forts in the south, and a place called Achaia.
By far the most important place was the city of Rhodus at the north-eastern extremity of the island. It was built in B.C. 408 upon a regular plan formed by the architect Hippodamus, the same who built the walls of Peiraeeus. (Strab. xiv. p.654; Diod. 19.45, 20.83; Harpocrat. s.v. ?pp?d?µe?a.) It was constructed in the form of an amphitheatre rising from the coast, and was protected by strong walls and towers, while nature provided it with two excellent harbours. The acropolis rose at the southwestern extremity, and on the slope of it was the theatre. According to Strabo, Rhodus surpassed all other cities for the beauty and convenience‘ of its ports, streets, walls, and public edifices, all of which were adorned with a profusion of works of art both in painting and sculpture. The principal statues were in the temple of Dionysus and the gymnasium; but the most extraordinary statue, which is described as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was the brazen statue of Helios, commonly called the Colossus of Rhodes. It was the work of Chares of Lindus, who employed upon its execution twelve years. It cost 300 talents, and was 70 cubits in height: its gigantic size may be inferred from the fact that few men were able to encompass one of its thumbs with their arms. (Plin. Nat. 34.18; Strab. l.c.) The Colossus stood at the entrance of one of the ports, but the statement that it stood astride over the entrance, and that the largest ships could sail between its legs, is in all probability a mere fable. It was overthrown by an earthquake, 56 years after its erection, that is, in B.C. 224, or according to others a few years later. Ptolemy promised the Rhodians, among other things, 3000 talents for its restoration (Plb. 5.89), but it is said not to have been attempted in consequence of an oracle (Strab. l.c.). Later authorities, however, speak of it as standing erect: the emperor Commodus is said to have ordered his own bust to be put upon it; and Cedrenus relates that a king of the Saracens sold the fragments to a merchant who employed upwards of 900 camels to carry them away. Notwithstanding the great splendour of the city, the number of its inhabitants does not appear to have been very great, for during the siege of Demetrius Poliorcetes no more than 6000 citizens capable of bearing arms are mentioned. (Diod. 20.84.) But Rhodus has nevertheless produced many men of eminence in philosophy and literature, such as Panaetius, Stratocles, Andronicus, Eudemus, Hieronymus, Peisander, Simmias, and Aristides; while Poseidonius, Dionysius Thrax, and Apollonius, surnamed the Rhodian, resided in the island for a considerable tine. The present town of Rhodes contains very few remains of the ancient Greek city. (Comp. P. D. Paulsen, Descriptio Rhodi Maced. Aetate, Göttingen, 1818 ; I. Rest, Rhodus, ein Hist. Arch. Fragment, Altona, 1823; Th. Menge, Vorgeschichte von Rhodus, Cöln, 1827; Rottier, Descript. des Monuments de Rhodes, Bruxelles, 1828; Ross, Reisen auf den Griech. Inseln, iii. pp. 70--113, which contains a good account of the middle-age history and the present condition of the island and city with maps and plans; Sestini, Mon. Vet. p. 91.) - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.
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