RHODE was the Haliad nymph or goddess of the Aegean island of Rhodes. She was a daughter of the sea-god Poseidon, and the wife of the island's most important god, Helios the sun.
Rhode was identified by the Rhodians with the goddess Athena, and her seven sons with the Kouretes of Krete.
RHODE (Rhodê),a daughter of Poseidon by Amphitrite, was married to Helios, and became by him the mother of Phaeton and his sisters (Apollod. i. 4. § 4). It should be observed that the names Rhodos and Rhode are often confounded (Diod. v. 55).
RHODOS (Rhodos), was, according to Diodorus (v. 55), a daughter of Poseidon and Halia, and sometimes called Rhode. The island of Rhodes was believed to have derived its name from her. According to others, she was a daughter of Helios and Amphitrite, or of Poseidon and Aphrodite, or lastly of Oceanus (Pind. Olymp. vii. 24; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 923). She was a sea-nymph, of whom the following legend is related. When the gods distributed among themselves the various countries of the earth, the island of Rhodes was yet covered by the waves of the sea. Helios was absent at the time; and as no one drew a lot for him, he was not to have any share in the distribution of the earth. But at that moment the island of Rhodes rose out of the sea, and with the consent of Zeus he took possession of it, and by the nymph of the isle he then became the father of seven sons. (Pind. Ol. vii. 100, &c.; Ov. Met. iv. 204.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Pindar, Olympian Ode 7. 13 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Praise the sea maid, daughter of Aphrodite, bride of Helios (the Sun), this isle of Rhodes."
Pindar, Olympian Ode 7. 69 ff :
"And there grew up from the watery wave this island [Rhodes], and great Helios who begets the fierce rays of the sun, holds her in his dominion, that ruler of the horses breathing fire. There long ago he [Helios] lay with Rhodes and begot seven sons, endowed beyond all men of old with genius of thoughtful mind. And of these one begot he eldest Ialysos, and Kamiros and Lindos; and in three parts they divided their father's land, and of three citadels the brothers held each his separate share, and by their three names are the cities called."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 28 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Poseidon married Amphitrite, and had as children Triton and Rhode, whom Helios (the Sun) made his wife."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 55. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Poseidon, the myth continues, when he had grown to manhood, became enamoured of Halia, the sister of the Telkhines, and lying with her he begat six male children and one daughter, called Rhodos, after whom the island was named . . .
Helios, the myth tells us, becoming enamoured of Rhodos, named the island Rhodes after her and caused the water which had overflowed it to disappear . . .
His seven sons [by Rhodos] were Okhimos, Kerkaphos, Makar, Aktis, Tenages, Triopas, Kandalos, and there was one daughter, Elektryone, who quit this life while still a maiden and attained at the hands of the Rhodians to honours like those accorded to the heroes."
Strabo, Geography 14. 1. 18 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Some say that, of the nine Telkhines who lived in Rhodes, those who accompanied Rhea to Krete (Crete) and reared Zeus in his youth (kouros) were named Kouretes (Curetes); and that Kyrbas, a comrade of these, who was the founder of Hierapytna [in Krete (Crete)], afforded a pretext to the Prasians for saying among the Rhodians that the Korybantes (Corybantes) were certain Daimones, sons of Athena and Helios (the Sun)."
[N.B. "Athena" wife of Helios is Rhode.]
Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 204 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Not Clymene, nor Rhodos now had power to hold his [Helios'] heart . . . All were forgotten for Leucothoe."
Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athene (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Hippeia Athene (Athena-of-Horses): They say she is a daughter of Poseidon and Polyphe, daughter of Okeanos; she was the first to use a chariot and was called ‘of-Horses’ because of this." [N.B. "Hippeia Athene" is probably Rhode. Cf. Strabo above.]
- Pindar, Odes - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Suidas - Byzantine Lexicn C10th AD
Other references not currently quoted here : Tzetzes on Lycophron 923