the colossus of rhodes

it’s a romantic notion, but despite what we’ve read in history books or in george r.r. martin’s a feast for crows, there was never a colossus of rhodes that straddled the entrance to the harbor of rhodes. instead, the colossus – a bronze statue of helios, the sun god, which reportedly stood 98 feet tall – probably stood alongside the harbor. construction begun in 292 bc, and the colossus stood until the earthquake of 226 bc, when it collapsed, and the pieces were stolen or sold off. the statues at the mouth of the harbor are, instead, a stag (a symbol…

back where i left off …

the next day, we went to lindos, a town on rhodes. the town had been controlled at one point or another by greeks, romans, byzantines, the knights of st. john, and the ottomans, as well as the italians and then the greeks again in modern times. the acropolis of lindos contains both the temple of artemis lindia – which has been rebuilt using modern construction materials(!) – as well as the fortress that the knights of st. john built to defend against the ottomans. the view below, and the view above. portico columns, 200 bc, and the view to the…

live at the apollo (part 2)

outside the main city, on the acropolis, stands the temple of apollo. “acropolis” means “edge of the city,” so there are other acropoli (acropoleese?) than just the one in athens. this temple dates back to the 5th-3rd century b.c. and was excavated from 1912-1945.   below the temple are the stadium and the odeon. according to our guide, the stadium is 600 feet long because hercules paced out the length with 600 steps. the stadium was where the young men, after training since childhood, displayed their athletic and battle prowess. eventually, however, the ancient rhodians decided that men had to…

back into rhodes

so, back into rhodes. let’s do the history, in brief: turkey is that close. this matters for history. the island was settled in prehistoric times but didn’t start to develop major cities until after the trojan war1. it became part of the roman empire and then, after the division of the empire, part of byzantium. in a.d. 620, it was captured by the persians, but then the arabs invaded 33 years later.  the byzantines didn’t reassert control until a.d. 718. the crusaders moved in and took control in the 13th century2 and then turned the island over to the knights of…

all roams lead to rhodes

this probably will be the most objectionable pun i put on this blog. this past weekend, a group of us went to rhodes. some initial impressions first; tomorrow, i’ll provide the details. we enter the medieval old town, a unesco world heritage site. while the city has a history stretching back 2500 years, parts of the old town date back more than 700 years.   looking up at the ramparts of the castle of the knights of the order of st. john, who came to the island in 1307 a.d. – just imagine the battles these walls have seen!  …