Dodecanese

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Dodecanese

(dōdĕk'ənēs`, –nēz, dō'dĕk–), Gr. Dhodhekánisos, island group (1991 pop. 163,476), c.1,035 sq mi (2,680 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea, between Asia Minor and Crete, comprising the greater part of the group known as the Southern SporadesSporades
, islands, E and SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea. They have been grouped variously at different times. The Northern Sporades are generally understood to include Skíros, Skiathos, Skópelos, and some smaller islands off the coast of Évvoia and W Turkey.
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. Despite its name ("twelve islands"), it consists of about 20 islands and islets, of which the most important are RhodesRhodes
or Ródhos
, island (1990 est. pop. 90,000), c.540 sq mi (1,400 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea; largest of the Dodecanese, near Turkey. Land and Economy
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, KósKós
, Lat. Cos, island (1991 pop. 26,379), 111 sq mi (287 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea; 2d largest of the Dodecanese, near the Bodrum peninsula of Turkey. Although it rises to c.2,870 ft (875 m) in the southeast, the island is mostly low-lying.
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, KárpathosKárpathos
, Ital. Scarpanto, Lat. Carpathus, island (1991 pop. 5,323), c.110 sq mi (280 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea, one of the Dodecanese. It is mountainous, rising to c.4,000 ft (1,220 m).
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, KálimnosKálimnos
, mountainous island (1991 pop. 15,706), 41 sq mi (106 sq km), SE Greece, one of the Dodecanese, 11 mi (18 km) off the coast of Asia Minor. A sponge-fishing center, it also produces figs, olives, citrus fruits, and almonds.
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, PátmosPátmos
, island (1991 pop. 2,663), c.13 sq mi (34 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea; one of the Dodecanese, near Turkey. On the island, according to Rev. 1.9, the exiled St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation. The Monastery of St.
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, Astipálaia, Kásos, Tilos, Sími, Léros, Nísiros, Khalki, and Kastellórizo. The city of Rhodes, on the largest of the islands, is the administrative seat. Agriculture, livestock raising, fruit growing, and sponge diving are the main occupations. Tourism is an important industry. Centers of ancient Greek culture, the Dodecanese were held by the Ottoman Turks from 1522 until 1912, when they were occupied by Italy during the Italo-Turkish War. The islands were captured by the Allies during World War II, and in 1947 they formally passed to Greece. However, Turkey claims some of the islands.