Rhodes (rosy), a celebrated island in the Mediterranean Sea. (It is triangular in form, 60 miles long from north to south, and about 18 wide. It is noted now, as in ancient times, for its delightful climate and the fertility of its soil. The city of Rhodes, its capital, was famous for its huge brazen statue of Apollo, called the Colossus of Rhodes. It stood at the entrance of the harbor, and was so large that ships in full sail could pass between its legs.—Ed.) Rhodes is immediately opposite the high Carian and Lycian headlands at the southwest extremity of the peninsula of Asia Minor. Its position has had much to do with its history. Its real eminence began about 400 b.c. with the founding of the city of Rhodes, at the northeast extremity of the island, which still continues to be the capital. After Alexander’s death it entered on a glorious period, its material prosperity being largely developed, and its institutions deserving and obtaining general esteem. We have notice of the Jewish residents in Rhodes in 1 Macc. 15:23. The Romans, after the defeat of Antiochus, assigned, during some time, to Rhodes certain districts on the mainland. Its Byzantine history is again eminent. Under Constantine it was the metropolis of the “Province of the Islands.” It was the last place where the Christians of the East held out against the advancing Saracens; and subsequently it was once more famous as the home and fortress of the Knights of St. John. (It is now reduced to abject poverty. There are two cities—Rhodes the capital and Lindus—and forty or fifty villages. The population, according to Turner, is 20,000, of whom 6000 are Turks and the rest Greeks, together with a few Jews.)
Didrachm of Rhodes.