The Peloponnesian War was the largest and greatest military conflict between the Greek city-states. The Peloponnesian War was a war between the Delian League, led by Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. Athens and Sparta competed to see who the greatest power was and who will influence the ancient Greek world. This conflict changed the history of ancient Greece forever and is considered a turning point in the history of Greece. Rhodes, being one of the largest naval powers in ancient Greece played an important role in the outcome of the war.
At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, Rhodes sided with the Delian League under the influence of Athens. During the campaign in Sicily, Rhodes offered military help to the Athenians but was defeated by the Spartans.
At the time Rhodes was divided by two major political factions, the Democrats, and the Oligarchs. The Democrats sided with Athens because of the closer political ties they had, and the Oligarchs supported the Spartans. The Oligarchs were composed of the richest families in Rhodes. They offered their support to the Spartan cause because of their close cultural ties. One of those influential families was the Eratides of Ialyssos. This family produced many great Olympic champions, including the greatest boxer of the ancient Greek world Diagoras.
Dorieus, the son of Diagoras was a passionate supporter of the Spartans and tried to convince the people of Rhodes to side with the Peloponnesian League. When the Athenians learned of this, they captured him and punished him with a death sentence. But he was freed because of his victories in Pankration during the Olympics. During the final stages of the war, Dorieus aided the Spartans during the naval battle of Symi in 412 B.C. After that Dorieus captured Rhodes with the help of the Spartans and made them a part of the Peloponnesian League. Dorieus was again captured by the Athenians in 407 Β.C, but he was freed once more because of his fame as an Olympic champion.
During the war, the Oligarchs, who ruled over Rhodes decided to build a new city on the island. This new city would become the largest trade and cultural center on the island and would later become the city of Rhodes. In 408 B.C the city was built, combing the ancient cities of Ialyssos, Lindos, and Kameiros into one. The city was designed by the famed architect Ippodamous of Milos, the greatest architect of the ancient Greek world. Many public buildings were built in the city, such as roads, harbours, fortifications, and temples. A lot of ancient Greek writers that visited the island were amazed by the beauty of the city and considered it to be one of the greatest cities of the Mediterranean. Soon Rhodes became one of the most influential and richest cities in the ancient world, attracting merchants from all around the world.
Rhodes has a deep and fascinating history! Do you want to learn more about the history of Rhodes and Greece? Visit Throne of Helios and combine fun with knowledge!