Document belonging to the Greek Mythology Link, a web site created by Carlos Parada, author of Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology
Characters • Places • TopicsImagesBibliographyPDF Editions
Copyright © 1997 Carlos Parada and Maicar Förlag.


Location of the island of Rhodes in the eastern Mediterranean (enlarge)

Rhodes is an island off the southwestern coast of Asia Minor.

First inhabitants

The first inhabitants of Rhodes were the TELCHINES, wizards who discovered certain arts, and were the first to fashion statues of gods. Zeus flooded some of them while others emigrated or were expelled from Rhodes by the HELIADES 2 (for more details about the TELCHINES see CORYBANTES).

Helius patron of Rhodes

This is how Helius won the patronage of Rhodes: It is said that when the immortals divided the earth among them, the island of Rhodes did not yet exist, and that when the division was effected Helius was absent, being left without any allotment of land. When Helius pointed this out, Zeus was about to order a new casting of lots, but Helius refused, knowing that the island of Rhodes would rise over the surface of the sea and become a rich land. So Helius asked the gods to make an oath swearing that when the island had risen it should therafter be his own prize of honor.

Rhode 2

Helius consorted with Rhode 2, daughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite, or of Poseidon and Halia. This Halia is said to be the daughter of Thalatta (the Sea) and sister of the TELCHINES. Halia was raped by her sons, and cast herself into the sea, being given the name of Leucothea, as it is also told about Ino, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia 1.


Helius and Rhode 2 had sons, the HELIADES 2 , and a daughter Electryone ( the sisters of Phaethon 3 are also called HELIADES—HELIADES 1). The HELIADES 2 were astrologers; they divided the day into hours, and introduced new practices in seamanship. The most talented among them was Tenages, but his brothers gave way to Envy and killed him. When their treacherous act became known, all who had taken part in the murder fled and settled in different places.

Triopas 2 and Phorbas 2

One of the HELIADES 2 was Triopas 2, who, because of the murder of his brother Tenages, sailed first from Rhodes to the Chersonesus, which lies on the mainland opposite the island, and later emigrated to Thessaly where he assisted the sons of Deucalion 1 to expel the Pelasgians. His son Phorbas 2 returned to Rhodes at the time when the island was called Ophiussa because there were a great number of snakes, among which one of immense size. It is told that Phorbas 2 was carried to Rhodes by a storm, killing all the beasts on his arrival.

Triopas 2's fate

Triopas 2 became king of the Thessalians, and in trying to roof his own house, tore down the old temple of Demeter. For this reason he incurred the hatred of the Thessalians, and fled to Chersonesus and Caria where he founded Triopium in the territory of Cnidus. Some say that, because he had offended Demeter, hunger was brought on him, and that no amount of food could satisfy him. The same happened to his son Erysichthon 2 for having cut down a sacred oak.




Actis sailed off to Egypt and founded there the city of Heliopolis.




Settled in Cos.

Cercaphus 1.

Succeeded to the throne of Rhodes after his brother Ochimus. His sons divided the kingdom (see main text).



Macar 1.

Macar 1 was king of Lesbos. He is also called son of Crinacus, son of Zeus.


The oldest of the HELIADES 2 and their king.


Being the most gifted among the HELIADES 2 his brothers, out of envy, murdered him.



Triopas 2.

See main text. Triopas 2 is sometimes called son of Poseidon and Canace, the daughter of Aeolus 1, and other times son of Lapithus 1, son of Apollo and Stilbe, daughter of the river god Peneus.

King Ochimus

The eldest of the HELIADES 2 was Ochimus, who also was their king. Ochimus married the nymph Hegetoria and had by her a daughter Cyrbia, who has also been called Cydippe 3. The city Cyrbe in Rhodes, which was destroyed by the Flood, was called after her.

Division of the kingdom

Cyrbia was married to her uncle Cercaphus 1, brother of Ochimus and successor to the throne, and gave birth to three sons, Camirus, Lindus, and Ialysus. When the king died, these three divided their father's kingdom, and called the lands they inherited after themselves.


The city of Lindus was known for the temple of Athena, which is said to have been built by Danaus 1 and his daughters the DANAIDS when they landed on the island, escaping from the sons of Aegyptus 1. From this city came one of those called by the Greeks The Seven Sages, Cleobulus of Lindus, whose favorite maxim was "moderation is best." In the beginning the Lindians, as the others, had a government of their own, but later the island of Rhodes came under one rule.

Althaemenes in Rhodes

Not long before the Trojan War, Althaemenes, son of Catreus, son of Minos 2, emigrated, along with his sister Apemosyne, from Crete to Rhodes, trying to avoid an oracle that had declared that Catreus would be killed by one of his children. In Rhodes Hermes seduced Apemosyne, but her brother Althaemenes, disbelieving her account, kicked her to death.

King of Crete dies in Rhodes

Later, when Old Age gripped Catreus, he wished to personally transmit the kingdom to his son. With this purpose he sailed to Rhodes, but on landing he and his men were taken by pirates or invaders, and in the struggle that ensued Althaemenes killed his father, thus fulfilling the oracle. Althamenes did not inherit the kingdom of Crete, for when he learned what he had done, he prayed and was swallowed up by the earth.

Menelaus goes to the funeral

The body of Catreus was returned to Crete, for it is known that Menelaus left Sparta to attend the funerals of Catreus in Crete, leaving behind her wife Helen in the company of the seducer Paris, who only some days before had arrived from Troy.

Rhodes against Troy

At the time of the Trojan War, Rhodes was ruled by Tlepolemus 1, son of Heracles 1 and Astyoche, daughter of King Phylas 1. Tlepolemus 1 emigrated after having killed his father's uncle Licymnius, son of Electryon 1, son of Perseus 1. Tlepolemus 1, who is also said to have been the founder of Ialysus, Camirus, and Lindus, contributed with nine Rhodian ships to the Achaean fleet that gathered in Aulis in order to sail to Troy and demand the restoration of Helen (see also ACHAEAN LEADERS). Tlepolemus 1 was killed in the war by Sarpedon 1 (the king of Lycia in Asia Minor), whom Zeus had granted life for three generations, but who also fell in that war killed by Patroclus 1.

Helen killed in Rhodes

It is told that some years after the war, Tlepolemus 1's wife Polyxo 4 received Helen as an exile, and that wishing to avenge her husband's death in the Trojan War, she arranged Helen's death.

Related sections Map of Greece 

Some mentions of Rhodes: Apd.2.1.4, 2.8.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2; Apd.Ep.3.13, 6.27; Hom.Il.2.654, 2.655, 2.667; Nonn.14.47; Ov.Met.4.204, 7.365, 12.574.