National Geographic : 1915 Sep
Photo by Ernest L. Harris AN ENTRANCE TO THOE FORTRESS AT RHODES: ISLAND OF RHODES With the arrival of the Knights of St. John, an interesting period began for Rhodes. This order was founded in Jerusalem in the eleventh century, and after many hardships finally found a home at Rhodes, where it assumed the name of the Knights of Rhodes. The power of the order was also gradually extended over a number of small neighboring islands, as well as the coast of the mainland (see text, page 259). which has been erected the edifice of modern statecraft, philosophy, science, and art; that this atmosphere once was pervaded with poetic refinement and lit erary perfection that has called forth the greatest powers of emulation on the part of every nation which has since existed; and that a school of architecture flour ished here which reared gigantic struc tures at once the wonder and admiration of the ancient world. The island of Samos formed one of the oldest settlements of the lonians in the Mediterranean, and from this point most of the colonies on the coast of Asia Minor and other parts of the 2Egean Sea were established. During the second half of the sixth century B. C. the wisdom and skill of Polycrates won for Samos the first place in the Ionian Union. As Tyrant this statesman and poli tician carried on successful wars with the neighboring islands, and he even formed an alliance with Amasis, king of Egypt. Polycrates caused great edifices to be erected, and, on the whole, did much to encourage the fine arts. In the year 522 B. C. he was decoyed to Mag nesia* and doomed to a miserable death on the cross by the Persian satrap of that place. With the death of this great man the prestige of Samos began to wane, and it gradually sank into insignificance. The island was also the birthplace of the great philosopher Pythagoras. Samos came under the yoke, in turn, of the Athenian Greeks, Romans, Byzan tines, Arabians, Venetians, Genoese, and finally the Turks. In the Greek war of independence Samos fought for Greece and successfully resisted every effort on * For a description of Magnesia see NA TIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, December num ber, 1908, Vol. XIX.