RHODES

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RHODES (fPo<5oS, from po<W, arose, or from po&o$, noise of waters); an island in the Grecian archipelago, lying between Crete (Candia) and Cyprus, ten miles from the southern coast of Asia Minor; thirtysix miles in length, and fourteen in breadth ; 450 square miles. Rhodes was, in ancient times, sacred to the sun, and was celebrated for its serene sky, its soft climate, fertile soil, and fine fruits. The republic of Rhodes was an important naval power, and planted colonies in Sicily, Italy and Spain. The beauty and size of its works of art were admired in all Greece, and it ,was much visited by the Romans on account of them. The commercial laws of the Rhodians were adopted, as the basis of marhie law, on all the coasts of the Mediterranean, and some fragments of them still retain their authority. (See Commercial Law.) This rich and powerful republic took an important part in several of the Roman wars, and was fiist made a Roman province in the reign of Vespasian. In 1309, after the loss of Palestine, the knights of St. John occupied the island, and were thence called the knights, of Rhodes. In 1480, they repelled an attack of the Turks, but, in 1522, were obliged to surrender the island to So?iman II. (See John, Knights of St.) The population is differently estimated, by Savary at 36,500, of which about one third ara Greeks, with an archbishop. The island is governed by a pacha, who is under the capudan pacha or highadmiral and governor of the islands of the Archipelago. The revenue of the sultan from the island is estimated at 90,000 piasters. The productions are corn,wine, oil, cotton, fruits, wax, honey, &c. The capital, Rhodes (Ion. 28° 12' E.; lat. 36° 2& N.), has a population of 6000 Turks. The suburb Neachorio is inhabited by 3000 Greeks, who are not permitted to reside within the city. The town is surrounded by three walls and a double ditch, and is considered by the Turks as impregnable. It has two fine harbors, separated only by a mole. The celebrated colossus probably stood here. (See Colossus.)