Rhodes


Rhodes
/rohdz/, n.
1. Cecil John, 1853-1902, English colonial capitalist and government administrator in southern Africa.
2. James Ford, 1848-1927, U.S. historian.
3. a Greek island in the SE Aegean, off the SW coast of Turkey: the largest of the Dodecanese Islands. 66,606; 542 sq. mi. (1404 sq. km).
4. a seaport on this island. 32,019. Italian, Rodi. Greek, Rhodos.
5. Colossus of, a huge bronze statue of Apollo that stood at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes. Cf. Seven Wonders of the World.

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I
Greek Ródhos

Island of Greece.

It is the largest island of the Dodecanese group and the most easterly in the Aegean Sea. Its main city, Rhodes (pop., 2001: 53,709), lies at the northern tip of the island. The earliest known settlers were the Dorians с 1000 BC. During the Classical period the island's affiliations vacillated between Athens, Sparta, and Persia in attempts to preserve a balance of power. A devastating earthquake с 225 BC destroyed the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. In the medieval period Rhodes was occupied by the Byzantines, Muslims, and Knights of St. John (see Knights of Malta). The knights converted the island into a fortress and held it for two centuries until 1523, when the Turks took control. In 1912 it was taken from Turkey by Italy, and in 1947 it was awarded by treaty to Greece. A year-round tourist industry has brought prosperity to the island.
II
(as used in expressions)
Rhodes Alexandre de
Rhodes Cecil John
Rhodes Colossus of

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Greece
Modern Greek  Ródhos,  
 
major city of the island of Rhodes and capital of the nomós (department) of Dhodhekánisos (in the Dodecanese islands), Greece. The largest urban centre on the island, Rhodes sits on its northeasternmost tip. In classical history, Rhodes was a maritime power and the site of the Colossus of Rhodes (Rhodes, Colossus of). Because of its influence on Mediterranean history as well as its preservation of Gothic and Ottoman structures, the city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.

 The historical fortunes of the city are linked intimately with those of the island of Rhodes. Under a modified democracy and an efficient executive, the city in antiquity prospered. Its standard of coinage was widely accepted, and its maritime law, the earliest known to have been codified, was widely quoted in the Mediterranean and was adopted by Augustus for the Roman Empire. Parts of the law are still quoted. About 294–282 BC the citizens commemorated their successful resistance to a determined siege by Demetrius I Poliorcetes (305 BC) by erecting the famous Colossus of Rhodes (Rhodes, Colossus of), a bronze statue rising to some 100 feet (30 metres) or higher that was dedicated to the sun god Helios. About 225/226 BC the statue toppled during a severe earthquake that destroyed much of the island. It was not reerected because of a pronouncement by the Delphic oracle, but it was immortalized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Under the emperor Diocletian (reigned AD 284–305) the city was the capital of a Roman province. From the 16th to the 20th century Rhodes was controlled by the Ottoman Turks. A devastating powder magazine explosion ruined much of the town in 1856, killing hundreds of its citizens. Under Italian rule (1912–43) it was the administrative centre for the Dodecanese islands. The Germans occupied the island from 1943 to 1945, during which time several historic structures were damaged by Allied bombing. Rhodes and the other Dodecanese islands were subsequently returned to Greek sovereignty.

  Behind the small-craft port of Mandrákion (Mandhráki), which is separated from the commercial harbour by the tiny Boubouli Peninsula, the city proper is divided into two distinctive parts. The “Old City,” enclosed by walls and a moat built by the Crusader Knights of Rhodes (Knights of Malta) (Hospitallers) in the 14th century, borders the commercial harbour to the west. The castle of the Crusader Knights is a notable tourist attraction. Among the Ottoman mosques are the Suleymaniye (mainly 19th century), with its brightly striped minaret, and the Rejep Pasha (1588). Works of art and historical artifacts are housed at the Medieval Exhibit (1994) of the Palace of the Grand Masters. The former hospital of the Knights of Rhodes is the city's archaeology museum, and their former cathedral now houses the Museum of Byzantine Art. The “New Town,” begun in 1912 by the Italians, extends north of the Old City to the very tip of the island and westward to the foot of Mount Smith, site of the ruined acropolis (2nd century BC). The New Town includes an open-air market, a national theatre, and the church of the Evangelismos (Annunciation), which was built in 1925 on the plan of the Church of St. John, destroyed in 1856.

      The city and island are now a major tourist destination. Tourism, fishing, and government services are the most important sources of employment. Pop. (1981) 40,392; (1991 prelim.) 43,619.

Modern Greek  Ródhos,  

      island (nísos), the largest of the Dodecanese (q.v.) group, Greece, and the most easterly in the Aegean Sea, separated by the Strait of Marmara from Turkey. Rhodes city, on the northern tip of the island, is the capital of the nomós (department) of Dhodhekánisos. The 540-sq-mi (1,398-sq-km) island is traversed northwest–southeast by hills that reach 3,986 ft (1,215 m) in the summit of Atáviros. The peak commands a view of the coast of Asia Minor, the Dodecanese archipelago, and, on clear days, the summit of Mt. Ida on Crete. In antiquity the island was infested with snakes, and the name may derive from erod, Phoenician for “snake.” Farmers still wear leather boots for protection from a surviving poisonous species. Winter temperatures average 50° F (10° C), and constant winds account for the many windmills on Rhodes. The valleys provide rich pasture, while the plains produce a variety of grains.

      Minoan remains at Ialysus are evidence of early Cretan influence. With the collapse of the Minoan civilization (c. 1500–1400 BC), Rhodes became a powerful independent kingdom with a late Bronze Age culture. In historic times Rhodes was occupied by Dorians, mainly from Argos, c. 1100–1000. The Rhodian cities of Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus, along with Cos, Cnidus, and Halicarnassus, belonged to the Dorian Hexapolis (league of six cities) by which the Greeks protected themselves in Asia Minor. The Dorian cities of Rhodes traded throughout the Mediterranean and founded colonies in Italy, Sicily, Spain, and Asia Minor and dominated several Aegean islands.

      During the classical period, Rhodian affiliations vacillated between Athens, Sparta, and Persia, in attempts to preserve a balance of power. Rhodes supported Rome during its war with Philip V of Macedonia, and its fleet participated in Rome's war against Antiochus the Great of Syria. Roman competition in Asia Minor eroded Rhodian income, however, and the island steadily declined after Rome made Delos a free port c. 166. During the triumvirate of Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus (43 BC), the conspirator Gaius Cassius plundered Rhodes for refusal to support him. Though it continued for another century as a free city it never recovered its former prosperity; in about 227 BC a severe earthquake devastated the island.

      The history of Rhodes under Byzantine rule (after AD 395) is uneventful. In 653–658 and 717–718 it was occupied by the Saracens, and the various Crusades used Rhodes as a port of staging and supply. After 1309 the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers) converted Rhodes into an almost impregnable fortress and built a powerful fleet for protection of the southern Mediterranean sea routes against the Turks. The Knights evacuated Rhodes in 1523 after an honourable capitulation, ending two centuries of defiance of the Turks. The island gradually declined as the result of pestilence, emigration, and harsh Turkish administration, suffering severely during the War of Greek Independence (1821–29). In 1912 Rhodes was taken from Turkey by Italy. Under the Allied peace treaty with Italy in 1947, the island was awarded to Greece.

      In the classical age, Rhodes was famous as a centre of painting and sculpture and had a noted school of eclectic oratory at which the Romans Cato, Julius Caesar, and Lucretius were students. Rhodian sculptors were prolific. Among extant works is the Laocöon group executed by Polydorus, Athenodorus, and Agisandrus. The island has yielded an array of artifacts from the Mycenaean and later periods, but no Mycenaean palaces have been unearthed as in Crete and the Peloponnese. Outstanding among the ruins of Lindus is the temple, or sanctuary, of Athena Lindia, which dates from the 5th to 3rd century BC.

      The Italian occupation (1912–43) brought paved roads, public works construction, and considerable archaeological activity, including the restoration of ancient and medieval monuments. With Crete and Athens, Rhodes enjoys an increasing year-round tourism, which has brought great prosperity. The economy is supplemented by the production of red wine, grain, figs, pomegranates, and oranges. Pop. (1981) 87,831.

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Universalium. 2010.

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