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8. Notable people

Agesander of Rhodes

Agesander was a sculptor from the island of Rhodes. His name occurs in no author except Pliny, and until very recently we have known of only one work which he executed, albeit one very highly renowned work. In conjunction with Polydorus and Athenodorus, Agesander sculpted Laocoon and his Sons, a work which has been ranked by some among the most perfect specimens of art, although modern critics suspect the trio of being 'high-class copyists'.
Controversy over the general date of Agesander's life has never quite been settled. 18th century art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann felt certain he was a contemporary of Lysippos in the 4th century BC; others have placed him as late as 68 AD, in the reign of Nero. Modern scholarly consensus puts the likely time frame as between 50 BC and 25 AD. Another theory is that Agesander and the other two all possessed the same names as sculptors from an earlier period.
In 1959, other works of this trio were discovered at Spelunca, where the emperor Tiberius had a celebrated villa. The scenes were not entirely identifiable, but are thought to all feature Odysseus.


Chares of Lindos
Chares of Lindos (fl. in 280 BC) was a Greek sculptor born on the island of Rhodes. He was a pupil of Lysippus. Chares constructed the Colossus of Rhodes in 282 BC, an enormous bronze statue of the sun god Helios and also the patron god of Rhodes. The statue was built to commemorate Rhodes' victory over the invading Macedonians in 305 BC, led by Demetrius I, son of Antigonus, a general under Alexander the Great. Also attributed to Chares was a colossal head which was brought to Rome and dedicated by P. Lentulus Spinther on the Capitoline Hill, in 57 BC.
The Colossus of Rhodes is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and was considered Chares's greatest accomplishment, until its destruction in an earthquake in 226 BC.
It is believed that Chares did not live to see his project finished. There are several legends stating that he committed suicide. In one tale he has almost finished the statue when someone points out a small flaw in the construction. The sculptor is so ashamed of it he kills himself. In another version the city fathers decide to double the height of the statue. Chares only doubles his fee, forgetting that doubling the height will mean an eightfold increase in the amount of materials needed. This drives him into bankruptcy and suicide. The work may have been completed by Laches, also an inhabitant of Lindos.
There is no evidence that either of these tales are true. A controversial character, his true fate is lost to history.

Kleobulus, the son of Evagoras, was a Greek philosopher and a native of Lindos. He lived as late as 560 BC. He studied philosophy in Egypt; and had a daughter named Cleobulina, who used to compose enigmas in hexameter verse, that were said to be of no less significance than his own. It is said that he restored the temple of Minerva which had been built by Danaus. He was one of the Seven Sages of Greece.
He used to compose songs and sayings in verse to the number of three thousand lines. Diogenes Laertius presents these lines:
'I am a brazen maiden lying here
Upon the tomb of Midas. And as long
As water flows, as trees are green with leaves,
As the sun shines and eke the silver moon,
As long as rivers flow, and billows roar,
So long will I upon this much wept tomb,
Tell passers by, 'Midas lies buried here.'
(Diogenes Laertius, Book I, Chapter: The Life of Cleobulus)

Diagoras of Rhodes
Diagoras of Rhodes was an ancient Greek boxer from the 5th century BC, who was celebrated for his own victories, as well as the victories of his sons and grandsons. He was a member of the Eratidae family at Ialysus in Rhodes. He descended from Damagetus, king of Ialysus, and, on the mother's side, from the Messenian hero, Aristomenes. Diagoras was victor in boxing twice in the Olympic games, four times in the Isthmian, twice in the Nemean, and once at least in the Pythian Games. The fame of Diagoras and his descendants was celebrated by Pindar (Olympian Odes VII). A local soccer club, Diagoras F.C. and the Rhodes International Airport, 'Diagoras', are named after him.His three sons were Olympic champions. The oldest son, Damagetos, won the pankration in 452 and 448 BC. Akousilaos, the second son, won the boxing in 448 BC. The two celebrated their victory by carrying their father around the stadion on their shoulders, cheered loudly by the spectators. This was considered the peak of happiness that a human being could experience, achieving great glory and yet having this glory matched or even surpassed by one's own children. Legend has it that during Diagoras' triumphant ovation on the shoulders of his sons, a spectator shouted:
'Die, Diagoras, for Olympus you will not ascend'
the meaning being that although he attained godlike bliss, he could not possibly become a god. Indeed Diagoras died on the spot, and was since considered the very happiest mortal that ever lived. His youngest son, Dorieus, was even more successful than his brothers.
According to another legend, Diagoras' daughter, Kallipateira ('she of the beautiful father') was the only lay woman ever permitted to attend the Olympic Games. Excepting the priestess of Demeter, all women were banned from watching because athletes performed in the nude. Kallipateira's son, Peisirrhodos, as well as her nephew, Eukles, had won the Olympic Games too, when she decided to sneak into the crowd, disguised as a man. She was discovered and brought before the Hellanodikai (Judges of the Hellenes) to be tried for sacrilege on pain of death; there she proclaimed that if any woman could ever be allowed to defy the ban, it was she, having had a father, three brothers, a son and a nephew achieve victory eight times there. The judges were awed, and she was acquitted.

Dinocrates of Rhodes (last quarter of the 4th century BC) was a Greek architect and technical adviser for Alexander III of Macedon.
Dinocrates is known for his planning of the Egyptian city of Alexandria, the monumental funeral pyre for Hephaestion and the reconstruction of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, as well as other works.

Leonidas of Rhodes
Leonidas of Rhodes born 188 BCE) was one of the most famous Olympic runners of antiquity. Competing in the Olympic Games of 164 BCE, he captured the crown in three separate foot races - the stadion, the diaulos, and the hoplitodromos. He repeated this feat in the next three subsequent Olympics, in 160 BCE, in 156 BCE, and finally in 152 BCE at the age of 36. Leonidas's lifetime record of twelve Olympic crowns was unmatched in the ancient world.
Leonidas was renowned not only for his unsurpassed number of victories but for his versatility as a runner. His favored races required speed and strength in differing degrees; the stadion and the diaulos, 200-yard and 400-yard races respectively, were best suited to sprinters, while the hoplitodromos, a diaulos performed with bronze armor and shield, required more muscular strength and endurance. Philostratus the Athenian wrote in his Gymnastikos that Leonidas's versatility made all previous theories of runners' training and body types obsolete.

Memnon of Rhodes
Memnon of Rhodes (380 - 333 BC) was the commander of the Greek mercenaries working for the Persian king Darius III when Alexander the Great of Macedonia invaded Persia in 334 BC. He commanded the mercenaries at the Battle of the Granicus River, where his troops were massacred by the victorious Macedonians. He then began a campaign to capture the Aegean islands with the Persian fleet and led a direct assault on Macedonia, while Alexander was resting at Phaselis. Memnon managed to capture the island of Chios and most of Lesbos. Demosthenes, after hearing of Memnon's successes, began to prepare Athens for a revolt along with other Greek cities, while Sparta began to prepare for war. By a stroke of fortune for Alexander, Memnon died of illness at Mytilene and transferred command to his nephew, Pharnabazus.
Many scholars maintain that had Memnon's campaign been successful, Alexander would have had an immensely difficult time continuing his campaign in Asia, and might have soon been defeated. It was not until after the major Persian defeat at the Battle of Issus that Memnon's strategy was revitalised and finally put into action, but by then the advantage had been lost, and Alexander showed himself willing to sacrifice Greece if necessary by then if he still felt he could accomplish his greater goals.
Memnon was the brother of Mentor of Rhodes, brother-in-law of Artabazus of Phrygia, and husband and uncle of Barsine, Artabazus' daughter and Alexander the Great's mistress.

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