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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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RHODES was one of the most important and successful cities in ancient Greece. It was founded in b.c. 408, at the N.E. corner of the island of the same name, which Isaiah 43 miles long and 20 miles wide at its widest. The situation was admirable, and the people were able to take advantage of it and to build up a splendid position in the world of commerce. It reached the summit of its success in the 2nd cent. b.c., after the settlement with Rome in 189 made it mistress of great part of Caria and Lycia. Rome’s trade interests were seriously interfered with by this powerful rival, and in b.c. 166 Rome declared the Carian and Lycian cities independent, and made Delos a free port. Its conspicuous loyalty to Rome during the first Mithradatic War was rewarded by the recovery of part of its former Carian possessions. It took the side of Cæsar in the civil war, although most of the East supported Pompey, and suffered successive misfortunes, which reduced it to a common provincial town, though it remained a free city in St. Paul’s time, and retained its fine harbours, walls, streets, and stores. St. Paul touched here on his way from Troas to Cæsarea ( Acts 21:1 ), as it was a regular port of call on that route. Rhodes is mentioned in 1Ma 15:23 as one of the free States to which the Romans sent letters in favour of the Jews. Ezekiel 27:15 , according to the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] , reads ‘sons of the Rhodians’: this is an error; the mention of them in Genesis 10:4 (LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ) and 1 Chronicles 1:7 (LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ) is probably correct. The famous Colossus was a statue of the sun-god at the harbour entrance, 105 feet high. It stood only from b.c. 280 to 224.

A. Souter.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Rhodes'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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