Ancient Rhodes

Rhodes was inhabited by Acheans and then in 11th c. B.C. by Dorians. According to Homer, the island had participated to the Trojan War with nine ships Tripolemos as its leader. During Persian Wars they sided with Persians against Greeks.

In 4th c. B.C. Rhodes thrived and schools of philosophy and literature were founded.

In 322 B.C, the islanders sided with Alexander the Great, and after his death with the greek kings Ptolemies of Egypt. In 305 B.C, Rhodes was beseiged by the Macedonian Demetrios Poliorkitis, one of the best generals of his times. Colossus of Rhodes, a forty meters high statue, made of copper was considered one of the seven wonders of antiquity.

Castle of Ioannites knights

During Byzantine period, Rhodes prospered, but was plundered by Arab pirates. In 653, Saracenes broke the statue of Colossus into pieces and sold their parts to a Jewish. It is said that 900 camel were needed to tranfer the pieces.

In 1246 Genova conquered Rhodes and in 1306 the Order of Saint John dominated the island. The knights favoured commerce and protected the arts. Turks tried many attempts to conquer the island and they succeded in 1523, under Suleiman the Magnificent. In 1912 Italians conquered Rhodes and in 1948, after 7 centuries of slavery, Rhodes became greek again.