A journey through history
Archaeological excavations revealed that in the 16th century BC the Minoans inhabited the island, followed by the Mycenaeans, who settled here in the 15th century BC. After the 8th century B.C. the first city states lalysos, Lindos and Kamiros were built, which together with Kos and the small Asian cities Knidos and Halikarnasos founded the Doric six city federation "Hexapolis". According to this, it is the first city association of the world known at that time, which had political, economic and cultural dimensions.
The prosperity and the development of the island was mainly due to the trade as it was geographically located on the ancient trade artery which connected numerous Greek cities and the way continued to Sicily, back via the Cyclades with main station the island Rhodes and further to Cyprus and Phoenicia. In the time of the Ptolemies, another very important trade route was opened for the Rhodians, which extended from Asia Minor over Rhodes and further to the Nile delta and Kirene. Very early all three city states minted their own coins; a fact that testifies to their economic prosperity. A milestone in the history of the island was the decision of the three cities in 408 B.C. to jointly found a new powerful city at the northern tip which was able to carry the sceptre of power and prosperity for many centuries to come.
Like all other Greeks, the Rhodians fought in the war against the Persians and received the Macedonians on the island under the leadership of Alexander the Great. Due to its strategic position, Rhodes was occupied by the Romans in the 2nd century BC. Since that time, however, mainly after the 1st century B.C., Rhodes developed into an important cultural center, while its fame spread over the entire Mediterranean area.