Rhodes, once a wealthy state of ancient Greece, now Turkish, lies 12 miles off the SW. coast of Asia Minor. It is 49 miles long by 21 broad, and 563 sq. m. in area, and is traversed by a chain of mountains, which in Mount Artemira (anc. Atabyris) attain 4070 feet. The soil produces wine, oranges, figs, olives, and other fruits; but much land lies waste, and the population is decreasing - 34,000 in 1843, now barely 30,000, all Greeks except 7000 Turks and 2500 Jews. Sponges are an article of export. The Rhodians submitted to the Persians in 490 b.c., and to Alexander of Macedon in 332 B.C., beating off Mithridates in 88 b.c., and sided with Caesar. In 1309, after a three years' siege, the city fell into the hands of the Knights Hospitallers of St John. The Turks besieged them there in 1480, and again in 1522-23, when they compelled them to capitulate. - The city stood at the northern extremity of the island, on the slopes of a natural amphitheatre; at the entrance of one of its two harbours stood the bronze colossus of Helios, the Sun-god (280 b.c.), 90 to 120 feet high, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The city has often suffered from earthquake; the existing buildings date mostly from the period of the Knights' occupation - the principal the church of St John (now a mosque), the Knights' hospital, and the grandmaster's palace. Pop. 10,000. See a work on Rhodes by Torr (1885-87).