Your Complete Guide To The Classical Antiquity Period Of Rhodes

In this section I want to talk to you about the classical antiquity period of Rhodes.

When discussing the towns of Kamiros, Ialyssos, and Lindos in the prehistory section, I mentioned that the Dorians developed these areas, which later flourished and became prosperous strongholds.

In the beginning, Kamiros, Ialyssos, and Lindos functioned as individual and self-reliant towns. Later, they merged with three other towns: Knidos, Kos, and Halicarnassus.

This amalgamation went on to be called the ‘Doric Heaxpolis’.

Heaxpolis literally translates as “six cities”

It was then 6 towns together. 6 towns with a reputation for order in the way of religion and politics.

The Acropolis Of Lindos - The Classical Antiquity Period
Lindos And The Acropolis

The Persians

Around the 4th/5th century, the Persians gained control over Asian Minor, and this included Rhodes.

The Greeks however were able to fight and defeat the Persians later in 478 BC and they then went under the command of the Athenians!

This was also known as the ‘Delian League’.

In 431 BC the Peloponnesian War came along.

Rhodes however tried to remain indifferent between the Athenians and the Sparta forces but later sided with Spartans.

Before the end of the war though in 404 BC the island had gone its separate ways.

Rhodes had pulled out of the war completely.

The Persians briefly regained influence over the island of Rhodes in 340 BC, but Alexander the Great soon defeated them!

The Classical Antiquity Period – The Peloponnesian War

During the Peloponnesian War it was decided by the Rhodian people to develop a new town.

This was for reasons of strength, protection and increasing security. Therefore, the three existing towns on the island (Kamiros, Lindos and Ialysos) combined in order to create the capital city.

See The Ancient Rhodes section for more information on this.

From this, the capital city of the island was founded and named Rhodes. It was located on the very northern point of the island where it still stands in all its glory today!

The Macedonians

During the battle to defeat Tyre in Asian Minor, the Rhodians lent their assistance to Alexander The Great to complete this fight.

This came about when the Macedonians and the Greeks took the decision to allow a stronghold to be built on Rhodes.

Before the Macedonians the island was still under the control of Athens and on occasions Sparta too.

When the Macedonians came about, the Rhodians sided with them!

After Alexander The Great

Alexander The Great - The Classical Antiquity Period
Alexander The Great
Unknown photographer Unknown photographer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Once the empire of Alexander The Great had been disassembled there was a big push to increase connections with Egyptian Ptomelies.

This was for reasons of finance and economics.

However, war was being planned at that time.

Antigonos (the King of Syria) had the Egyptian Ptomelies in his sights and wanted to strike but he feared that the Rhodians would take sides with them.

Because of these actions, The King Of Syria dispatched his son to seize the town of Rhodes.

This man was named ‘Dimitros Poliorkitis, also known as ‘The Besieger’.

The Classical Antiquity Period – The Colossus

Unfortunately for ‘The Besieger’, Rhodes was able to defend itself against him and his forces.

For one year they fought, but finally ‘The Besieger’ was forced to retreat.

He left the island with his forces in embarrassment. During this retreat they also left all their materials behind.

Later, authorities used these materials to gather the wealth necessary for building the famous Colossus.

Artisans built the Colossus, a huge bronze icon depicting Helios (The Sun God), as a token of thanks and appreciation to the gods!

After The Fighting And War

The Rhodes Colossus - The Classical Antiquity Period
Rhodes Colossus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Once Rhodes had stood its ground against the King Of Syria and The Besieger, the island really went on to prosper.

After the late Alexander the Great defeated Tyre, Rhodes emerged as a powerful force in both commerce and seafaring.

The island went on to put into practice the ‘Rhodian Naval Code’.

Many consider this code of law as one of the most important documents worldwide.

Antonios Pius (Roman Emperor from 138 to 161 CE) made his appreciation known towards this code by writing:

‘We May Rule The World But The Rhodian Code Rules The Seas’

In fact, the Romans entered the scene a bit later, and after initial attempts at peace, Roman Senator Cassius attacked and defeated the Rhodians in 42 BC.

The Classical Antiquity Period – Conclusion

As you can appreciate, Rhodes has indeed experienced a lot in the way of history and has stood up to the test of war in years past.

After all that has taken place the island of Rhodes still stands proud in the Mediterranean and continues to prosper even in these modern times.

Do you have any thoughts on the classical antiquity period? Leave a comment below and I will get right back to you!

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28 thoughts on “Your Complete Guide To The Classical Antiquity Period Of Rhodes”

  1. Hi Chris

    You are obviously really knowledgeable about the history of Rhodes, and that shines through your post.

    I am very interested in history, and you have given me a great desire to visit Rhodes as I love visiting places with an interesting history. 

    Of course I love to spend time lazing on a beach too, but it appears that Rhodes can also offer that, is that so?

    If you had to suggest just two places in Rhodes which are of historical interest, which would they be?

    Very many thanks for your fascinating post.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Hi Chrissie, really great to hear from you and thank you for your interest.

      Rhodes has it all in my opinion when it comes to having a vacation. There is the history, the sun, the sea the sand, it is a perfect location. There are countless beaches for you to relax on, so do not worry there.

      I will soon be adding the section on all of the beaches, so keep in touch for that.

      For the historical sites, there are many,

      The most important two locations are The Medieval City in Rhodes and Lindos. Hit the link on each to get more information. These are the pride and joy of Rhodes 🙂

      Thanks Chrissie!


  2. Oh my goodness! The more I read your posts the more I really want to go to Greece! 

    This is amazing. I love the history and culture that seems to exude from Greece. I think I’m a #traveladdict but Greece is moving higher and higher on that list! 

    There was a lot of turmoil that this island took on and survived and is virtually unknown. You live in a beautiful place and you are awesome enough to share your knowledge of this gorgeous and culture enriched place.

    • Hello Christy. Thanks for reading and for your kind words.

      A lot of people come to Rhodes for the weather, a lot for the history and culture and some even for the food!

      I can see you are one that would side with the history and culture on the island.

      The history dates back here thousands of years and to be honest it is overwhelming. I have lived on the island now for many years, and I am a lover of going out and seeing the sites.

      Every time I go, I always see something I did not see before. There is just so much of it! Places such as The Ancient City Of Kamiros and The Old Medieval Town, WOW! You will never get tired of it!

      To think you are standing in the same place The Knights Of Saint John stood and where The Colossus once guarded the harbor proudly. It is quite a magnificent feeling.

      I hope you manage a trip here. Let me know if you do and I will offer you some advice and tips so you get the best experience.

      Thanks Christy


  3. What a wonderful site!

    I love the history of Greece and want to visit there sometime. The Island sounds like a place to add to the tour! I also LOVE the food.

    Thank you for taking the time to put all of this together and share it with us. We home school, so history can come to life, especially if we take a trip.

    I’m glad we found your site here!

    • Hi Shelli and thanks for getting in contact.

      Rhodes is full of history and it dates back centuries. If you do ever get to the island you will love it for sure. There is a lot to see and appreciate. The food is also here waiting for you to sample 🙂

      If you manage a trip here let me know. I will happily offer you some information to make sure you have an educational and fun stay!



  4. I really enjoyed reading this, because you covered so much history in brief and easy to understand overviews. 

    What came through above all was the spirit of the people of Rhodes in meeting numerous challenges, and the power of joining together and collaborating. 

    This is the kind of information that really helps to bring a place to life when you are travelling there. 

    Thank you.

    • Hi Rhian!

      This is one of the things I love bout Greece and the Greek people. They are very loyal and they will join hands to make sure others are OK.

      Times have been tough over the years as I am sure most people are aware of. Austerity has come into force and things have been hard to deal with, but it will never break the spirit of the Greek communities. 

      When you visit Rhodes for example, you will see the strength of the Greeks. They all work hard and are eager to please. They stand strong in tough times. They always have and they always will 🙂

      Thanks Rhian


  5. I came across your site when I was doing an online search. 

    I’ve been wanting to visit Greece and Rhodes for a very long time. Obviously, there is a long history on the island, but I didn’t realize it was fought over so much in the past. 

    My knowledge of Rhodes, of course, was limited to the Colossus, but I was happy to learn so much more about the island.

    • Hi there Mark and thanks for landing on my site and for looking around.

      The Colossus in Rhodes is one of the more well known historic sites on the island although it has long been destroyed. On saying that, there is so much more to discover when it comes to the island, and some of the areas should not be missed.

      The beautiful Acropolis in Lindos for example, and The Ancient City of Kameiros are some fine places to see.

      The island has also a troubles past at times when we look to previous occupations in years gone by. I am happy you found the information here useful and interesting.

      When you decide to take your vacations here feel free to let me know 🙂 I will happily offer you all you need to get the best from your stay!

      Thanks Mark


  6. Have you ever thought of making a coffee table book or anything along those lines? You’re article is excellent and I really enjoyed reading it. 

    I have bookmarked your site so I can come back but I feel as if I am left wanting more…More as in pictures of all the awesomeness you described. Thank you.

    • Hey there and thanks for your interest and for your idea.

      A coffee table book is not something I have considered in all honesty, but you know – now you mention it to me, it is not something I will rule out either 🙂 I think it is a great idea,,, Thank you.

      As for more in the way of images to accompany the material on the site, they are coming, do not worry.

      At the moment I am out and about doing more research and taking lots more pictures, so more information will be added to the site soon 🙂

      Thanks again for reading, nice to hear from you.


  7. Hi Chris

    Wow, really did I enjoy reading your post on the Classical Antiquity Period Of Rhodes.

    Rich in history with many battles fought. With losses and wins, it seems like the Island of Rhodes persevered through the ages and became the great place you know today.

    While reading it I was getting the feeling of moving through time and for a moment I was taken on a wonderful journey.

    Thank you very much for a great piece of history!



    • Hey there Rika, well – I am of course happy you had the feeling of moving through the times whilst reading the information here, but let me tell you, this is nothing compared to seeing it with your own eyes.

      Actually being here in Rhodes and standing on the ground where all these historical battles took place and Emperors once stood is quite an amazing feeling, and difficult to beat!

      Thanks again for passing by Rika, nice to see you have become a regular reader 🙂


  8. When it comes to Greece, my main interest has always been Athens, the birthplace of direct democracy and the Parthenon, and for its architectural wonder.

    Having stumbled upon this website dedicated to the Island of Rhodes, it reminds me there is more interesting history and places to be explored or visited in Greece.

    I have noted down this fascinating place on my list to visit, and I will see if and when I can travel to this beautiful country.

    I enjoyed reading about the climate, culture, history and tradition in Rhodes and all the guidelines are so informative.

    Thank you so much for opening up my eyes. I assure you I will visit your site again in the future.



    • Hi Kipps and thank you so much for taking the time to send me a comment.

      You raise an important point too, when people think about Greece, they do think of Athens, The Acropolis and Parthenon. I have visited these too in the past and it is clear to see why it is one of the most visited places in the world. It is fantastic.

      With this in mind, people tend to overlook the islands. There is so much history and culture on the Greek Islands too and they should not be missed.

      Be sure to keep Rhodes on your list of places to visit, you will love it if you get the opportunity to see what it has to offer.

      I am happy you found the information here interesting and if you need to know something more just send me a message and I will help you out as much as I can!



  9. Very interesting facts.

    It is also interesting to see how many players had their part in this history. It makes traveling to the place even more interesting.

    Somehow I will have these facts coming back to life in my mind as I visit the place.

    Makes it more captivating,

    • Thanks for your thoughts Sarah!

      This is exactly the feeling I get when I walk around some of the attractions here on the island of Rhodes. You can stand and appreciate what happened all them years ago literally on the very ground you are standing on. It is quite a feeling i can tell you.

      If you are lucky, you can see the places when it is quiet, then the history really can shout out at you. Captivating is certainly a good word to describe it 🙂



  10. Hello Chris,

    2 things I love – Greek Mythology and history. You’ve summed up everything pretty well, I got pretty excited learning about things I never knew like The Colossus being a statue of Helios.

    I definitely need to go to Rhodes, I keep hearing magical things about the place and the way you write, ohhh you just know how exactly what we’re interested in.

    You should definitely try pitching a business with your ministry of Tourism 😀

    • Hey Riaz,

      I noticed this is not the first time you have visited me here as I have responded to a couple of your thoughts before on other comments 🙂 It is always nice to have you back!

      Indeed the Colossus was a representation of the Sun God Helios. Did you see the page where i discuss the myths? Rhodes is sometimes said to be the island which Helios acquired after Zeus subdivided the earth to all the Olympian Gods in his absence. It stands to reason why the Colossus was made!

      You can read more about it here on The History of Rhodes Greece page! Let me know what you think 🙂

      The good things you hear about the island of Rhodes are all true. it is indeed magical, and as you have a love for mythology and history I definitely recommend you add it to your ‘places to see’ list 🙂

      As for making a business, well, maybe in the future.

      At the moment I am here to share my knowledge and hope it interests people who want to visit. Maybe later I will look at the tourism side!

      Thanks for the idea 🙂

      See you soon Riaz



  11. Hello Chris,

    As I started to read this I felt like I was reliving parts of the movie ‘300’.

    I am not a big history buff and would more appreciate the views, food and things to do within the area you are discussing.

    The information you provided does give some insight into how much the island of Rhodes has been through. I can only Imagine there is a lot of history to see.

    I would love to see more pictures of the place and it defiantly sounds like a place to visit. Especially for those history buffs, those who travel. and then for those who want to see the beauty of the Rhodes.

    Thanks great post.


    • Hey Mario, how are you? I hope you are doing fine!

      Indeed Rhodes does have a massive history, and I will tell you something, even as a non history buff, I guarantee you will still be mesmerized by the history here. It really is magnificent and a must see.

      Of course the culture comes into play too and the foods and things to do all play a big part.

      Please rest assured that as I am developing this site I will be covering all areas of interest and I never leave my apartment without my camera, so lots more coming in the way of photos too 🙂

      If you get the opportunity to visit please let me know, I will give you some hints and tips for your stay!



  12. I never really got into History in school, but since home schooling my son, I have learned to love history.

    I really like what you have written on Rhodes, fascinating information. So much so, that I would love to visit and experience the history there.

    What a wonderful place with so much history and charm!

    Thanks for sharing and love your website!

    • Hey there thank you so much for your kind words.

      I will admit I was never so much into History when I was in school either.

      I guess it is a kid thing, ‘its in the past, why do I need to know it now’?

      It is only when you get older you start to appreciate the things that have happened in history which has made the world what it is today!

      Experiencing the history of Rhodes really is magnificent and I guarantee you would love your visit here. Once you have seen it you will never forget it!

      If you need any more information just let me know 🙂



  13. Great post!

    That is history I didn’t know about on the island of Rhodes. I’ve always wanted to visit Greece because of it’s rich history.

    I had no idea about the islands history. I may want to pinpoint that part of Greece as I imagine the sights are incredible.

    Thanks for giving me an idea for my next vacation.

    • Hey Robert

      For sure if you visited Rhodes you would not be disappointed at all when it comes to exploring the history. It really is breathtaking and in some areas you can really feel yourself go into the past.

      The Medieval Town of Rhodes is a perfect example of this and there is so much more.

      If you ever get the opportunity to visit let me know before hand and I will happily give you some tips and advice on what to see. Of course as this site keeps developing there will be lots more information for you to absorb too 🙂

      Thanks for passing by and for your interest 🙂



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The Island Of Rhodes