Rhodes has a deep and fascinating history stretching from the ancient world to the modern era. In the ancient era, Rhodes was a major trade center in the Mediterranean Sea, connecting the West with the East. Rhodes also participated in some of the biggest conflicts in Ancient Greece, from the Trojan War to the Peloponnesian War and the conquests of Alexander the Great. Many important personalities have contributed to the history of Rhodes, below we look at some of these great people!
Cleobulus was the tyrant of the ancient city of Lindos. He was also a poet and on the Seven Sages of Greece, 7 of the wisest people in the whole Greek world. In his youth, he travelled to Egypt, where he studied philosophy. Some of his greatest quotes include:
Diagoras was considered one of the strongest boxing champions in the ancient world, having never been defeated in a match. His sons were also Olympic Champions. His oldest son, Damagetos, was a champion in Pankration (ancient Greek mixed martial arts), and his second son Akousilaos was a boxing champion just like his father. His youngest son Dorieus was a hero of the Peloponnesian War. A local soccer club, Diagoras F.C., and the Rhodes International Airport, “Diagoras” are named after him.
Kallipateira was the daughter of Diagoras and the mother of the wrestling champion Peisidoros. In ancient Greek Olympics, women were not allowed inside the stadium and disobeying the rule was punishable by death. Kallipateira was the trainer of her son Peisidoros and wanted to watch him fighting in the Olympics. So, she sneaked into the stadium and disguised herself as a man, but she was found out by the authorities. But she was not punished by the authorities, because her father, brothers, and son were all Olympic champions.
Leonidas was the most famous Olympic runner in the ancient world. For four consecutive Olympiads (164–152 BCE), he was the champion of three foot races, the Stadion (200 meters), the Diaulos (400 meters), and the Hoplitodromos (400 meter race performed with bronze armor and shield). He held a 2000 year record for winning 12 gold medals in 3 different events, only for his record to be broken by the legendary swimmer Mike Phelps.
Hipparchus was born in Nicaea in modern-day Turkey but lived and died on the island of Rhodes. He was an astronomer, geographer, mathematician, and philosopher. Hipparchus is considered the greatest ancient astronomical observer and, by some, the greatest overall astronomer of antiquity. He developed trigonometry and constructed trigonometric tables, and he solved several problems of spherical trigonometry. He also found a way to accurately predict solar eclipses and wrote the first comprehensive star catalog.
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