Greek island, largest of the Dodecanese, in the eastern Aegean Sea; area 1,412 sq km/545 sq mi; population (2003 est) 55,600. The island has a central mountain range, the Attaviros Mountains. Rhodes town is the capital of the island, and is located at the most northerly point on the island. Wheat, tobacco, cotton, wine grapes, oranges, vegetables, and olives are grown. Tourism is the most important industry; fishing and wine production are also sources of income.
History The island was settled by Dorians from Argos before 1000 BC. By the 7th century BC, it was dominated by its three city-states of Camirus, Lindos, and Ialysus, all commercial centres. It entered the greatest period of prosperity, power, and cultural achievement when it asserted its independence after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The arts and sciences flourished; major figures included the astronomer Hipparchus and the painter Protogenes. The ancient harbour, now called Mandraki, has a statue of a deer and fawn at the entrance to the port where the Colossus of Rhodes stood. The town of Rhodes was designed by the architect Hippodamus of Miletus in 408 BC and was the first town to be built using an urban plan based on a perpendicular system. Rhodes was held by the Knights Hospitallers of St John 1306–1522 AD. It then fell under Ottoman rule until the Italian occupation in 1912. Rhodes was ceded to Greece in 1947.
Rhodes town contains a variety of sites of archaeological and architectural interest. These include the 5th-century BC settlement of Ialysos and a church of the Knights Hospitallers from the 14th century AD. On the Acropolis of Lindos stands the 4th-century BC sanctuary of Athena Lindia which includes a Doric temple of Athena Lindia (5th century BC), and a relief of a Rhodian ship (170 BC) carved into the rock. The old medieval town of Rhodes is entered via the gate of Freedom (1808). The remains of the Temple of Aphrodite are located in this area.
A Greek island in the SE Aegean Sea, the largest of the Dodecanese group. It has a mountainous interior with fertile coastal strips,...
(Ródhos) Greek island in the SE Aegean Sea; the largest of the Dodecanese archipelago. It was colonized by the Dorians in c .1000 bc and...