Rhodes has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, then enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with a direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

Rhodes civitas

Rhodes is one of the most ancient cities of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas Rhodes was founded four thousands years ago by Greeks Minoans tribe coming from Creta island, then conquered by Myceneans of Cyprus: together developed the particular culture and alphabet at the origin of the European civilization and Rhodes became famous as the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite/Venus protector of the ancient city-state (πόλις) whose name in modern Greek means "rose": in VIII century BC Rhodes was invaded by Dorians people who built its most important and still existing cities and connected the island to Kos and Halicarnassus. In the classical epoch, the Rhoides island was neutral in the Peloponnesis war and earned its independence as the eastern gate to the Aegean Sea and crucial stopping point for Phoenician merchants and prosperous trading colonies within the Greek cities. Rhodes was able to defend many times from invasions of Persians and Lycian, but not against the conquer of the Macedonian kingdom and successively of the Roman Empire in 58 BC, so within the reform of Augustus (see Roman Empire) became part of the senatorial Acaja province. In that period Rhodes became (still today) a main centre of Hellenistic arts, education and religion, such important that highly influented the European continent both with Miceanean and Ionian/Hellensitic style, thanks to the rethoric school of Apollonius of Rhodes and the Rhodian sculptors that carved the famous "Laocoön group" (now in the Vatican Museums) and the legendary "Colossus", one of the "seven wonders of the Past". From ancient era come to us the ruines of Kameiros, the Acropolis of Lindos and of Rhodes city, where still esists a piece of a greek footbridge and it is documented the presence of a Jewish community since III century BC, who still today pray in the oldest sephardic synagogue of Greece and live in the "Juderia" quarter of the old Rhodes city.

With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), Rhodes was included in the Oriensis Diocesis and part of the Byzantine Empire until XII century AD, when Crusaders attacked and sacked the island making seriuos damages to the traditional christian hellenistic character of Rhodes regarded as one of the primary ortodox Christian community evangelized by Saint Paul. Many times attacked and occupied (by Arabs, Sasanids, Selgiuchs, Genoeses), Rhodes was always reconquered by Byzantines until 1310 AD when the Knights Hospitalier occupied the isle and changed their name in Knights of Rhodes, until 1522 AD when they moved to Malta leaving the isle to Ottomans invasion who ruled Rhodes for centuries. From that epoch remains the city Palace of the Grand Master of Knights and the castle of Kritinia.

In 1912 AD Rhodes was conquered by Italy kingdom and included in the colonias of "Isole Italiane dell'Egeo" and settled by thousand of Italian colonists. The island was ceded to Greece at the end of Second World War and nowadays Rhodes is a famous little town, capital of the most eastern greek islands of Dodecaneso, a touristic attraction and fundamental politic and cultural centre witness of ancient tradition of the history of European integration, located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea beside Turkey, whose people is mostly christian ortodox under its patron Saint Phanourios, a soldier lived in XVI century AD who could save many Cretans from Ottomans persecutions before being executed.

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