Geographical sites:

  • Rhodes (click here to focus in map) (see also Pleiades #590031)
    Pleiades_icon Rhodos (island) island Description: The island of Rhodes has an area of some 1,400 square km and sits 18 km from the coast of Asia Minor. The island has been inhabited by humans since the Neolithic period.


Text #8703

Polybius. The Histories. Vol. 3
[Polyb. 5.88--5.89. Translated by W. R. Paton. Harvard University Press. 1922. (6 Vols.) pp. 215--219]

At about the same time I have been speaking of the Rhodians, availing themselves of the pretext of the earthquake which had occurred a short time previously and which had cast down their great Colossus and most of the walls and arsenals, made such practical use of the incident that disaster was a cause of improvement to them rather than of damage. So great is the difference both to individuals and to states between carefulness and wisdom on the one hand, and folly with negligence on the other, that in the latter case good fortune actually inflicts damage, while in the former disaster is the cause of profit. The Rhodians at least so dealt with the matter, that by laying stress on the greatness of the calamity and its dreadful character and by conducting themselves at public audiences and in private intercourse with the greatest seriousness and dignity, they had such an effect on cities and especially on kings that not only did they receive most lavish gifts, but that the donors themselves felt that a favour was being conferred on them.

For Hiero and Gelo not only gave seventy-five silver talents, partly at once and the rest very shortly afterwards, to supply oil in the gymnasium, but dedicated silver cauldrons with their bases and a certain number of water-pitchers, and in addition to this granted ten talents for sacrifices and ten more to qualify new men for citizenship, so as to bring the whole gift up to a hundred talents. They also relieved Rhodian ships trading to their ports from the payment of customs, and presented the city with fifty catapults three cubits long. And finally, after bestowing so many gifts, they erected, just as if they were still under an obligation, in the Deigma or Mart at Rhodes a group representing the People of Rhodes being crowned by the People of Syracuse. Ptolemy also promised them three hundred talents of silver, a million artabae of corn, timber for the construction of ten quinqueremes and ten triremes, forty thousand cubits (good measure) of squared deal planking, a thousand talents of coined bronze, three thousand talents of tow, three thousand pieces of sail-cloth, three thousand talents (of bronze?) for the restoration of the Colossus, a hundred master builders and three hundred and fifty masons, and fourteen talents per annum for their pay, and besides all this, twelve thousand artabae of corn for the games and sacrifices and twenty thousand artabae to feed the crews of ten triremes. Most of these things and the third part of the money he gave them at once. Antigonus in like manner gave them ten thousand pieces of timber ranging from eight to sixteen cubits in length to be used as rafters, five thousand beams of seven cubits long, three thousand talents of silver, a thousand talents of pitch, a thousand amphorae of raw pitch and a hundred talents of silver, while Chryseis his wife gave them a hundred thousand medimni of corn and three thousand talents of lead. Seleucus, the father of Antiochus, besides exempting Rhodians trading to his dominions from custom duties, presented them with ten quinqueremes fully equipped, two hundred thousand medimni of corn, ten thousand cubits of timber and a thousand talents of hair and resin. Similar gifts were made by Prusias and Mithridates as well as by the other Asiatic princelets of the time, Lysanias, Olympichus,and Limnaeus. As for towns which contributed, each according to its means, it would be difficult to enumerate them. So that when one looks at the comparatively recent date of the foundation of the city of Rhodes and its small beginnings one is very much surprised at the rapid increase of public and private wealth which has taken place in so short a time; but when one considers its advantageous position and the large influx from abroad of all required to supplement its own resources, one is no longer surprised, but thinks that the wealth of Rhodes fall short rather of what it should be.

Text #8733

Strabo. Geography. Series: Geography. Vol. 5
[Strab. 14.2.5. Translated by Horace Leonard Jones. William Heinemann; G. P. Putnam's Sons. 1967. (8 Vols.) p. 269]

The best of these are, first, the Colossus of Helius, of which the author of the iambic verse says, “seven times ten cubits in height, the work of Chares the Lindian”; but it now lies on the ground, having been thrown down by an earthquake and broken at the knees. In accordance with a certain oracle, the people did not raise it again

Text #8734

Diodorus Siculus. The Library of History. Vol. 11
[Diod. 26.8. Translated by C. H. Oldfather. Harvard University Press. 1935. (12 Vols.) p. 183]

For since Rhodes had been laid low by a great earthquake, Hiero of Syracuse gave six talents of silver for the reconstruction of the city walls and, in addition to the money, gave a number of fine vases of silver; and he exempted their grain ships from the payment of duty.

Text #8735

Pliny. Natural History. Series: Natural History. Vol. 9
[Plin. Nat. 34.18.41. Translated by H. Rackham. Harvard University Press. 1961. (10 Vols.) p. 159]

But calling for admiration before all others was the colossal Statue of the Sun at Rhodes made by Chares of Lindus, the pupil of Lysippus mentioned above. This statue was 105 ft. high; and, 66 years after its erection, was overthrown by an earthquake, but even lying on the ground it is a marvel. Few people can make their arms meet round the thumb of the figure, and the fingers are larger than most statues; and where the limbs have been broken off enormous cavities yawn, while inside are seen great masses of rock with the weight of which the artist steadied it when he erected it. It is recorded that it took twelve years to complete and cost 300 talents, money realized from the engines of war belonging to King Demetrius which he had abandoned when he got tired of the protracted siege of Rhodes. There are a hundred other colossal statues in the same city, which though smaller than this one would have each of them brought fame to any place where it might have stood alone; and besides these there were five colossal statues of gods, made by Bryaxis.

Text #3996

Pausanias. Description of Greece. Series: Description of Greece. Vol. 1
[Paus. 2.7.1. Translated by W. H. S. Jones. Harvard University Press. 1918. (6 Vols.) p. 281]


The reason why the Sicyonians grew weak it would be wrong to seek; we must be content with Homer’s saying about Zeus:

Many, indeed, are the cities of which he has levelled the strongholds.

When they had lost their power there came upon them an earthquake, which almost depopulated their city and took from them many of their famous sights. It damaged also the cities of Caria and Lycia, and the island of Rhodes was very violently shaken, so that it was thought that the Sibyl had had her utterance about Rhodes fulfilled.

Text #8731

Jerome. "Chronicle"
[p. 218]


223 BC. Caria and Rhodes were so struck by an earthquake, that the great colossus collapsed.

Text #8732

Orosius. Seven Books of History Against the Pagans. Series: Translated Texts for Historians. Vol. 54
[Oros. 4.13.13. Translated by A. T. Fear. Liverpool University Press. 2010 p. 182]

At that time too, the islands of Caria and Rhodes were struck so hard by an earthquake that, as buildings fell down everywhere, even the famous Colossus came crashing down.

Text #3997

Guidoboni & Comastri & Traina. Catalogue of ancient earthquakes in the Mediterranean area up to the 10th century
[pp. 91--92]

The Rhodes earthquake of c.226 BC caused the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the world, to collapse. The earthquake also struck Lycia and Caria, and the island of Telos.

An inscription from Telos dating to the 2nd century BC records that the island was struck by an earthquake. Another inscription from Camirus on the island of Rhodes testifies to the loss of life.

Text #9182

Kontogianni & Tsoulos & Stiros. "Coastal uplift, earthquakes and active faulting of Rhodes Island (Aegean Arc): modeling based on geodetic inversion". Marine Geology. Vol. 186
[pp. 299--317]

This earthquake is associated with an uplift of more than three metres and movement on this reverse fault is considered to be the likely causative mechanism for the event.

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