Rhodes Didrachm 400 - 333 BC

Obv: Head of Helios 3/4 right. Rev: Rose with 2 buds "Rodian" in Greek above. A and trident in field. Metal: Silver 6.8 grams, 20 mm diameter. Condition: VF well centered.

History of Rhodes

Rhodes is a major island off Caria. Its cities participated against Troy by suppling 9 ships. Rhodes was part of the Delian league, but their support alternated between Athens and Sparta during the Peloponnesian war. The Rhodian leader "Dorieus" was sentenced to death by Athens for supporting Sparta and was killed by Sparta for supporting Athens. During the time of the war(408 BC) the three main cities of Rhodes decided to join together and establish the new city of Rhodes. The city planner Hippodaos was hired to design the new city. "Strabo" wrote that it was the most beautiful city he knew. In 377 BC, Rhodes participated in the Athenian alliance. In 357 BC, Rhodes along with other island states (Chios and Kos) revolted against Athens. This left them vulnerable to Persia. "Mausolos" (a Persian tributary prince in Caria) garrisoned troops on the islands in 354 BC effectively taking control. The citizens of Rhodes appealed to Athens in 353 BC to intercede against this new tyrant- without success. Meanwhile "Mausolos" died and the Carians lost interest in the islands. In 340 BC, Rhodes assisted the Athenians against Philip II, but supported Alexander the Great against Tyre in 331 BC. With the destruction of Tyre, Rhodes became the naval power protecting trade in the area and the safe port for trade transactions. The economy of Rhodes prospered due to tolls for vessels passing through the Hellespont. In 305 BC, Antigonos requested the Rhodians to support him against Ptolomy I. The Rhodians refused and held off Antigones' seige force. A treaty was signed and the Rhodians celebrated by building the "Colossus of Rhodes" one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world between 292 and 280 BC using bronze from siege machines left by Antigonos. The Statue was toppled in an earthquake in 225 BC and destroyed along with the city. The city was so important to world trade that Herion II of Syracuse, Ptolomy III of Egypt, Seleucus III of Syria and even Antigones III supplied large amounts of gold and silver to Rhodes to rebuild. In 167 BC, due to the Rhodians not supporting Rome against "Perseus" of Macedon, the Romans made Delos a free port causing the economy of Rhodes to collapse.