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In Greek mythology, Rhode was one of the eldest oceanids, a daughter of Tethys and Oceanus. Though she does not appear among the lists of nereids in Iliad XVIII or Bibliotheke 1.2.7, such an ancient island nymph in other contexts might gain any of various Olympian parentages: she was thought of as a daughter of Poseidon with any of several primordial sea-goddesses— with whom she might be identified herself— notably Halia or Amphitrite.[1] Pindar even urges his hearers to "Praise the sea maid, daughter of Aphrodite, bride of Helios, this isle of Rhodes."[2] "All three names— Halia, Aphrodite, Amphitrite, and furthermore also Kapheira—[3] must have been applied to one and the same great goddess", Karl Kerenyi observes.[4]

In Rhodes, to which she gave her name, she was the consort of Helios, as Pindar says, and a co-protector of the island, which was the sole center of her cult. Her name was applied to the rose, which appeared on Rhodian coinage.

The first inhabitants of Rhodes were identified by Hellenes as the Telchines. Helios made the island rise from the sea and with Rhode, fathered seven sons there,[5] the Heliadae: Ochimus, Cercaphus, Macareus, Actis, Tenages, Triopas, and Candalus) and one daughter, Elektryo. Elektryo died a virgin and the sons became legendary astronomers and rulers of the island, accounting for the cities among which it was divided. Rhode was worshipped on Rhodes in her own name, as well as Halia, the embodiment of the "salt sea" or as the "white goddess", Leucothea. In Greek mythology, Rhodos was a son of Hermes and Aphrodite. The name Rhodos was sometimes substituted for Rhode.

References

  1. ^ In Bibliotheke 1.2.7.
  2. ^ Pindar, Seventh Olympian Ode.
  3. ^ TheoiProject: "Kapheira"
  4. ^ Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks 1951:184.
  5. ^ Pindar, op. cit.

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