Ships and Ferries to the island of Rhodes in the DodecaneseTravel Information for ferries to Rhodes. Island of Rhodes Dodecanese.
RHODES > MYTHOLOGY
The origin of Rhodes is connected with a beautiful myth which Pindar and other ancient writers liked to tell in their works. According to this myth, when Zeus defeated the Giants and became master of the earth, he decided to divide it among the gods of Mount Olympus. Helios, the sun god, was absent during the casting of lots, and, so the legend goes, "...no one remembered to include him in the draw". When Helios returned from his duties, he complained to Zeus about the injustice done to him. The father of the gods then told him he would cast lots again, but the radiant god did not let him. He only asked Zeus and the other gods to promise that the land which was to rise out of the sea could be his. As he spoke, there slowly emerged from the bottom of the blue sea a beautiful island, profuse with flowers. It was Rhodes, which until then had lain hidden beneath the sea.
Brimming with happiness, Helios bathed the island with his own radiance and made it the most beautiful in the Aegean Sea.
Another myth attributes the beginnings of Rhodes to the love of Helios for the nymph Rhodes, the daughter of the god of the sea, Poseidon. When Helios saw Rhodes, so the myth goes, he was so taken by her astounding beauty that he made her his wife. They had seven sons and one daughter, Alectrona, who died young. Kerkaphos, one of the sons of Helios and Rhodes, had three children: Kamiros, Ialysos and Lindos. They built a city each in Rhodes, and divided the island among themselves.
Some say that the famed island derives its name from the nymph Rhodes. Others maintain that Rhodes was named after the rose, and this, either because the island was abundant in these beautiful flowers or because the ancient inhabitants likened its beauty to that of a rose.
However, Rhodes was known in ancient times by several other names, among them, Ophioussa, for the many snakes that lived there; Elaphousa, because the Rhodians brought deers to kill the snakes that were there (the deers killed the snakes by running over them); Asteria, for its clear blue and starry sky; Makaria, for its arresting beauty; Telchinia, because its first inhabitants were said to be the Telchines; and Attavyria, after its highest mountain, Attavyros.
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