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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Rhodes, an island in the Mediterranean, near the coast of Asia Minor, celebrated from the remotest antiquity as the seat of commerce, navigation, literature, and the arts, but now reduced to a state of abject poverty by the devastations of war and the tyranny and rapacity of its Turkish rulers. It is of a triangular form, about forty-four leagues in circumference, twenty leagues long from north to south, and about six broad. It was famed in ancient times, and is still celebrated, for its delightful climate and the fertility of its soil. It contains two cities—Rhodes, the capital, inhabited chiefly by Turks, and a small number of Jews; and the ancient Lindus, now reduced to a hamlet, peopled by Greeks, who are almost all engaged in commerce. Besides these there are five villages occupied by Turks and a small number of Jews; and five towns and forty-one villages inhabited by Greeks. The whole population is estimated at 20,000. The city of Rhodes is famous for its huge brazen statue of Apollo, called Colossus, which stood at the mouth of the harbor, and was so high that ships passed in full sail between its legs. There is not a single vestige of this celebrated work of art now remaining. St. Paul appears to have visited Rhodes while on his journey to Jerusalem, A.D. 58 ().

The antiquities of Rhodes reach no farther back than the residence of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem. The remains of their fine old fortress, of great size and strength, are still to be seen. In modern times Rhodes has been chiefly celebrated as one of the last retreats of this military order, under whom it obtained great celebrity by its heroic resistance to the Turks; but in the time of Solyman the Great a capitulation was agreed upon, and the island was finally surrendered to the Turks, under whom it has since continued.





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Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Rhodes'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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