|Author||Charles River Editors|
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform|
|Publication Date||November 7, 2017|
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*Includes ancient accounts of Rhodes
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
Modern perceptions of Classical Greece are almost invariably based on Athens and Sparta, but there are perhaps few areas as consistently undervalued as the island of Rhodes. Although solidly part of the Greek world for as long as there has been one, Rhodes, located just off the coast of Asia Minor, was also from its earliest times a port opening to the civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean, and Rhodes was involved in every significant moment in ancient Greek history. The island often played a key role in world events which far surpassed its small size, and at one point even stood side-by-side with much larger kingdoms as one of the main powers in the Greek world.
In the Archaic and Classical periods, Rhodes often stood as a prime exemplar of the highs and lows of its fellow Greek cities, and as the largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes’ history is largely in line with that of the rest of those islands. Rhodes was first colonized by the Greeks of the Dorian tribe around the 8th century BCE, and it aligned with its fellow Dorian cities on the surrounding islands and the mainland of Asia Minor to form the so-called Doric Hexapolis.
After the Ionian revolt near the end of the 6th century BCE, Rhodes, along with other islands, was in the path of the Persian fleet that crossed the Aegean to face off against the Greeks in the Persian Wars. In the aftermath of the Persian Wars, along with the rest of the islands and with Greek Asia Minor, Rhodes was subsumed into the Athenian alliance, which would soon become the Athenian Empire. However, Athens would soon lose its power, and around the end of the Peloponnesian War against Sparta, its hold on its allies would wane. In fact, in 408 BCE, Rhodes, sharing a Dorian heritage with Sparta, would be among the first and most powerful of Athens’ allies to revolt, and it played a key role in the end of the Peloponnesian War by providing a basis for the new Spartan fleet to challenge Athenian naval supremacy. In the following century, Rhodes would vacillate between the Athenian and Spartan spheres of influence, all the while remaining too large to be permanently subdued by either city, and thus constantly growing in power.
Rhodes would reach the zenith of its power in the Hellenistic period following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. Even as the rest of the city-states waned compared to the much larger kingdoms of Alexander’s successors in Egypt and Asia, Rhodes would come to the forefront as a main power in the Greek world, standing toe-to-toe with these Hellenistic kingdoms. Rhodes was for a time the foremost naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean, and one of the most powerful and richest cities in the world. It was during this time that the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built on the island to celebrate Rhodes’ equally monumental triumph over the armies of Demetrius the Besieger. Rhodes also gained a foothold on other islands, and an extensive presence in Asia Minor.
It was only due to the rise of Rome that Rhodes, along with the rest of the Greek world, lost power, and it was gradually integrated into the Roman sphere of influence as an ally before finally being annexed into the empire.
Ancient Rhodes: The History and Legacy of the Famous Greek Island in Antiquity examines the history of one of the most important Greek powers of the ancient world. Along with pictures depicting important people, places, and events, you will learn about Rhodes like never before.