Greek city of Rhodes on an Island off Caria
Bronze 11mm (1.32 grams) Struck circa 200-170 B.C.
Reference: Ashton 332; SNG Keckman 607-16; HGC 6, 1481
Radiate head of Helios right.
P-O, rose with bud right.
This coin, with the head of Helios is a reference to the great "Colossus of Rhodes" statue in the city, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The "rose" is a pun on the city's name "rhodos" in Greek.
The large and important island of Rhodos, off the south-west coast of Asia Minor, produced a considerable coinage in the archaic period from its three major cities, Ialysos, Kamiros and Lindos. After the Persian wars no further coinage was issued on the island until the foundation of the new federal capital circa 408 B.C. This splendid city, situated on the northern promontory only 12 miles from the mainland, was given the same name as the island. It quickly achieved great prosperity and eventually became one of the principal trading centers of the ancient world. In the third century Rhodos exercised much political influence in the eastern Mediterranean, through the strength of its fleet. But in 167 B.C. the Romans declared Delos a free port, and the Rhodians, their prosperity now greatly diminished, sank into comparative obscurity.
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The Colossus of Rhodes (Ancient Greek: ὁ Κολοσσὸς Ῥόδιος ho Kolossòs Rhódios) was a statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes, on the Greek island of the same name, by Chares of Lindos in 280 BC. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was constructed to celebrate Rhodes' victory over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, whose son unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 BC. According to most contemporary descriptions, the Colossus stood approximately 70 cubits, or 33 metres (108 feet) high-the approximate height of the modern Statue of Liberty from feet to crown-making it the tallest statue of the ancient world. It was destroyed during the earthquake of 226 BC, and never rebuilt.
As of 2015, there are tentative plans to build a new Colossus at Rhodes Harbour, although the actual location of the original remains in dispute.
Helios (Ancient Greek: Ἥλιος Hēlios; Latinized as Helius; Ἠέλιος in Homeric Greek) was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. He is the son of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia (according to Hesiod), also known as Euryphaessa (in Homeric Hymn 31) and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn.
Helios was described as a handsome titan crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. In the Homeric hymn to Helios, Helios is said to drive a golden chariot drawn by steeds (HH 31.14-15); and Pindar speaks of Helios's "fire-darting steeds" (Olympian Ode 7.71). Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.
As time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo. However, in spite of their syncretism, they were also often viewed as two distinct gods/titan (Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian). The equivalent of Helios in Roman mythology was Sol, specifically Sol Invictus.
Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos) is the principal city and a former municipality on the island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Rhodes, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It has a population of approximately 90,000 in its metropolitan area. Rhodes has been famous since antiquity as the site of Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The citadel of Rhodes, built by the Hospitalliers, is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe, which in 1988 was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city of Rhodes is a popular international tourist destination.
The city of Rhodes is situated in the north-east tip of the island and forms a triangle from north to south. The municipal unit has an area of 19.481 km2. It is the smallest municipal unit of the island in terms of land area and the largest in population. It borders the Aegean Sea to the north, the east and the west and with the municipalities of Ialysos and Kallithea in the south.
The island of Rhodes is at a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This has given the city and the island many different identities, cultures, architectures, and languages over its long history. Its position in major sea routes has given Rhodes a very rich history. The island has been inhabited since about 4000 BC (Neolithic Period).
The city of Rhodes was formed by the cities of Ialyssos, Kamiros and Lindos in 408 BC, and prospered for three centuries during its Golden Age, when sea trade, skilled shipbuilders, and open-minded politicians of the city kept it prosperous until Roman times. The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was built by the Lindian sculptor Chares between 304 and 293 BC, which took 12 years and was completed in 282 BC. The statue represented their sun god Helios, which stood at the harbour entrance. The ancient city had a well-constructed sewage system as well as a water supply network as designed by Hippodamus. A strong earthquake hit Rhodes about 226 BC, badly damaging the city and toppling the Colossus.
In 164 BC, Rhodes came under Roman control. It was able to keep its beauty and develop into a leading center of learning for arts and science. The Romans took from the Rhodians their maritime law and applied it to their shipping. Many traces of the Roman period still exist throughout the city and give an insight into the level of civilization at the time. According to Acts 21:1, the Apostle Paul stopped at Rhodes near the end of his third missionary journey.
In medieval times, Rhodes was an important Byzantine trading post, as also a crossroads for ships sailing between Constantinople and Alexandria. In the early years of the divided Roman Empire, the Isaurians, a mountain tribe from Cilicia, invaded the island and burned the city. In the 7th century AD it was captured by the Arabs. The latter were the ones who removed the scattered pieces of the Colossus from the port and moved them to Syria where they destroyed them to make coins. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the native noble Leo Gabalas took control of the island, but after his death and succession by his brother John, the island was briefly occupied by the Genoese before being returned to the Emperor of Nicaea, though ushering in a new, but short-lived, Byzantine period.
Gallery Apollo Temple at the Acropolis of Rhodes.
Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
Close-up view of the Palace.
Gate of the Virgin, part of the Fortifications of Rhodes.
The ancient theatre, Acropolis of Rhodes
Remains of the Temple of Aphrodite, c.3rd century BC
Gate of the arsenal
Laocoön and His Sons; copy in the Grand Master's Palace
Byzantine church of Agios Georgios
Medieval church of the Virgin
Statue of Francis of Assisi