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RHODE or Rhodanus (Rosas) Gerona, Spain.

Greek trading establishment founded by the Rhodians in NE Spain, 18 km E of Figueras. According to an ancient tradition recorded by Scymnus (196) and Strabo (3.4.8), it was probably founded when the Rhodian thalassocracy, the rival of the Phoenicians, achieved its maximum expansion in the W Mediterranean (Balearics, Catalan coasts of Iberia, Gulf of Leon) at the end of the 9th or the beginning of the 8th c. In any event the colony was founded before the First Olympiad (Strab. 14.2.10), or before 776 B.C. Much Rhodian material, although dating a century later, has also been found in S France.

The original colony was on the site of the town of Rosas in the so-called Citadel of Rosas, at the N end of the Gulf of that name. Its location appears to indicate that originally it was a settlement of refuge and a port of call on the Rhodian route from the Balearics to S Gaul and the N Rhone, where goods from the Atlantic area (amber and tin) were assembled. It is undoubtedly the oldest Greek city in the West and antedates the foundation of Cumae in Italy by Greeks from Chalkis.

Its beginnings are obscure, documented only indirectly by the Rhodian goods found N of the Pyrenees. With the Phokaian colonization of these coasts and the foundation of Massalia (600 B.C.) and of Emporion, Rhode thrived; probably its Dorian origin enabled the town to maintain its personality in the face of the Phokaian Ionians, although it ended by falling into the commercial sphere of influence of Massalia-Emporion and subsequently became clearly Emporitan after the arrival of the Romans in 218 B.C. However, it always maintained its original Rhodian character. It was the first Greek city in the West to mint silver coins (drachmai). The wide dispersion of these coins indicates extensive commercial influence in the interior of Gaul, whose tribes copied the coins of Rhode.

In 195 B.C. the Roman consul M. P. Cato disembarked at Rhode and began the repression of the Iberian communities that had risen against the Roman domination, before establishing his headquarters in Emporion.

The Republic and the Early Empire was a period of economic balance for Rhode, which had been annexed by Emporion. However, it maintained its influence N of the Pyrenees while Emporion's trade was with the interior and the Spanish Levant. In the 3d c. A.D., with the destruction of Emporion by the Franks (265), Rhode gained a marked impetus which was maintained during the 4th-5th c. It became a large frontier town destined to play a major role under the Visigoths during the revolt of Count Paulus against Wamba.


A. García y Bellido, Hispania Graeca (1948); Revista de Gerona (1965), special number on Rhode by various authors; J. Maluquer de Motes, “Rhode, has ciutat mes antiga de Catalunya,” Homenaje a J. Vicens Vives (1965); id., En torno a las fuentes griegas sobre el origen de Rhode (1972); id., “Rodis Foceus a Catalunya,” Homenaje a Carlos Riba (1972).


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