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Ródhos(rô`thôs), island (1990 est. pop. 90,000), c.540 sq mi (1,400 sq km), SE Greece, in the Aegean Sea; largest of the DodecaneseDodecanese
, 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 Sporades.
..... Click the link for more information. , near Turkey.
Land and Economy
The island has fertile coastal strips where wheat, tobacco, cotton, olives, wine grapes, oranges, and vegetables are grown. The interior is mountainous, rising to 3,986 ft (1,215 m) on Mt. Attavyros. Tourism is the island's most important industry, and fishing and winemaking are pursued. There is a large tourist industry.
Rhodes was early influenced by the Minoan civilization of Crete and was colonized before 1000 B.C. by Dorians from Árgos. By the 7th cent. B.C. it was dominated by the three city-states of Camirus, Lindus, and Ialysus, all commercial centers. In the early 7th cent. Rhodes established Gela, in Sicily, as its principal colony; other colonies were founded on the eastern coast of Italy and in Spain. Rhodes retained its independence until the Persian conquest in the late 6th cent. B.C. and joined (c.500 B.C.) the Ionian revolt that led to the Persian WarsPersian Wars,
500 B.C.–449 B.C., series of conflicts fought between Greek states and the Persian Empire. The writings of Herodotus, who was born c.484 B.C., are the great source of knowledge of the history of the wars.
..... Click the link for more information. . Rhodes later joined the Delian LeagueDelian League
, confederation of Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens. The name is used to designate two distinct periods of alliance, the first 478–404 B.C., the second 378–338 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. (led by Athens) but fell away from Athens in 411 B.C. during the Peloponnesian War. In 408 B.C. the three city-states of Rhodes united in a confederacy, whose capital was the newly founded city of Rhodes.
The island was occupied by Macedon in 332 B.C., but it asserted its independence after the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.) and entered the period of its greatest prosperity, power, and cultural achievement. The arts and sciences flourished on the island; major figures included the painter Protogenes and the astronomer Hipparchus. However, in the 2d cent. B.C. its commerce—and hence its power—declined sharply, and Rhodes became a minor ally of Rome. The island became involved in Rome's civil wars of the 1st cent. B.C., and in 43 B.C. it was seized and sacked by Caius Cassius, the Roman conspirator. At the same time, Rhodes was the seat of a famous school of rhetoric. Julius Caesar studied on the island.
Through the early Christian era Rhodes retained a reputation for the high quality of its literary output. Rhodes remained in the Byzantine Empire until the capture of Constantinople (1204) during the Fourth Crusade. It then passed under local lords, was held by Genoa (1248–50), was annexed (1256) by the emperor of Nicaea, and was conquered (c.1282) by the Knights HospitalersKnights Hospitalers,
members of the military and religious Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, sometimes called the Knights of St. John and the Knights of Jerusalem. The symbol of the Order of St.
..... Click the link for more information. . The knights defended the island against Ottoman attack until 1522–23, when it was captured by the forces of Sulayman I. The island had prospered under the knights, but it was neglected by the Ottoman Empire. Rhodes, along with the other Dodecanese, was taken by Italy from the Ottomans in 1912 and was ceded by Italy to Greece in 1947.
The City of Rhodes
The modern city of Rhodes or Ródhos (1991 pop. 98,181), located at the northeastern tip of the island, is the capital of the Dodecanese prefecture and is an industrial center and port. It has a variety of light industries. It is near the site of ancient Rhodes, planned in 408 B.C. by Hippodamus of Miletus. After repulsing a siege by Demetrius I of Macedon in 305 B.C., the citizens of ancient Rhodes erected (292–280 B.C.) in the harbor the Colossus of RhodesColossus of Rhodes
, large statue of Helios, the sun god, destroyed by an earthquake in antiquity. Consider one of the Seven Wonders of the World by the ancients, it was built in part by Chares of Lindus (Rhodes) between 292 and 280 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. , a bronze statue of Helios counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the WorldSeven Wonders of the World,
in ancient classifications, were the Great Pyramid of Khufu (see pyramid) or all the pyramids with or without the sphinx; the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, with or without the walls; the mausoleum at Halicarnassus; the Artemision at Ephesus; the
..... Click the link for more information. . The colossus was destroyed in 224 B.C. by an earthquake. Rhodes declined in the 2d cent. B.C. with the rise of the free port of Delos. The present city was built largely by the Knights Hospitalers.
(also Rodhos), a Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Sporades group. Located 18 km from Asia Minor. Area, 1,404 km2. The island’s coast is only slightly irregular. The highest point on the island is Mount Attavyros (1,215 m). The island is composed mainly of limestones and marbles. There are small forests of pine, cypress, and evergreen oak and areas covered by Mediterranean vegetation. In the lowlands near the sea there are vineyards, gardens, and citrus and olive groves. Sardines, mackerel, and tuna are caught and sponges are harvested in the coastal waters. The island has tourist and health resorts. The city of Rhodes is on the island.
Rhodes is one of the centers of Aegean culture. The island’s cities engaged in maritime commerce and participated during the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. in the colonization of Sicily, North Africa, and other territories. During the Greco-Persian Wars of 500-449 B.C., Rhodes was captured by Persia; later, it entered the Delian League. In 408–405 B.C., the island’s cities united into a single polis. Ancient Rhodes was a developed, slaveholding state headed by an oligarchy of merchant-craftsmen and farmers. In A.D. 44, Rhodes was conquered by Rome and became part of the Roman province of Asia. From the end of the fourth to the 13th century it belonged to the Byzantine Empire; at the beginning of the 14th century it was seized by the Knights Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem; and in the 16th century it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. In the years 1912–47, Rhodes was a possession of Italy. According to the provisions of the peace treaty with Italy, signed on Feb. 10, 1947, the island passed into the possession of Greece.
Rhodes is rich in monuments and works of art of various epochs. Many works of ancient art have been preserved, for example, the remains of a temple of Aphrodite in the city of Rhodes, which dates from the third century B.C. In the seventh century B.C., a Rhodes school of painted ceramics developed. At the end of the fifth century B.C., the island’s cities, among them Rhodes (408-407 B.C.), were built according to the plans of Hippodamus. Between the third and first centuries B.C. a Rhodes school of sculpture developed, which produced the statue dedicated to Helios known as the Colossus of Rhodes. The statue was erected in 285 B.C. and destroyed by an earthquake in 224 B.C. Another work of this school is the Laocoon group. Medieval monuments include Byzantine churches (11th–15th centuries), buildings constructed by the Knights Hospitalers of St. John of Jerusalem (14th–16th centuries), and examples of Muslim architecture (16th–19th centuries).
REFERENCESKolobova, K. M. Iz istorii rannegrecheskogo obshchestva (O. Rodos IX—VII vv. do n.e.). Leningrad, 1951.
Selivanov, V. Ocherki drevnei topografii Rodosa. Moscow, 1963.
Clara Rhodos, vols. 1–10. Rhodes, 1928–41.
(also Rodhos), main city and port of the Dodecanese islands in Greece. The city is located on the island of Rhodes, in the Aegean Sea. Population, 32,000 (1971). Rhodes is a commercial center; its industries include the processing of agricultural products and fishing.