— Former prefecture — Country Greece Periphery South Aegean Capital Rhodes Subdivisions Area – Total 2,714 km2 (1,047.9 sq mi) Area rank 18th Population (2005) – Total 200,452 – Rank 12th – Density 73.9/km2 (191.3/sq mi) – Density rank 14th Postal codes 85x xx Area codes 2241-2247 ISO 3166 code GR-81
The Dodecanese (Greek: Δωδεκάνησα, Dodekánisa, [ðoðeˈkanisa], English: /doʊdɪkəˈniːz/, literally 'twelve islands'a[›]) are a group of 12 larger plus 150 smaller Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, of which 26 are inhabited. Τhis island group generally defines the eastern limit of the Sea of Crete. They belong to the Southern Sporades island group. They have a rich history, and many of even the smallest inhabited islands boast dozens of Byzantine churches and medieval castles.
The most historically important and well-known is Rhodes (Rodos), which for millennia has been the island from which the region is controlled. Of the others, Kos and Patmos are historically more important; the remaining nine are Astipalea, Kalimnos, Karpathos, Kasos, Leros, Nisyros, Symi, Tilos and Kastelorizo (which actually lies in the eastern Mediterranean). Other islands in the chain include Agathonisi, Alimia, Arkoi, Chalki, Farmakonisi, Gyali, Kinaros, Levitha, Lipsi, Nimos, Pserimos, Saria, Syrna and Telendos.
Pre-history and the Archaic Period
The Dodecanese have been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the Neopalatial period on Crete, the islands were heavily Minoanized (contact beginning in the second millennium BC). Following the downfall of the Minoans, the islands were ruled by the Mycenaean Greeks from circa 1400 BC, until the arrival of the Dorians circa 1100 BC. It is in the Dorian period that they began to prosper as an independent entity, developing a thriving economy and culture through the following centuries. By the early Archaic Period Rhodes and Kos emerged as the major islands in the group, and in the 6th century BC the Dorians founded three major cities on Rhodes (Lindos, Kameiros and Ialyssos). Together with the island of Kos and the cities of Knidos and Halicarnassos on the mainland of Asia Minor, these made up the Dorian Hexapolis.
This development was interrupted around 499 BC by the Persian Wars, during which the islands were captured by the Persians for a brief period. Following the defeat of the Persians by the Athenians in 478 BC, the cities joined the Athenian-dominated Delian League. When the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC, they remained largely neutral although they were still members of the League.
By the time the Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC, the Dodecanese were mostly removed from the larger Aegean conflicts, and had begun a period of relative quiet and prosperity. In 408 BC, the three cities of Rhodes had united to form one state, which built a new capital on the northern end of the island, also named Rhodes; this united Rhodes was to dominate the region for the coming millennia. Other islands in the Dodecanese also developed into significant economic and cultural centers; most notably, Kos served as the site of the school of medicine founded by Hippocrates.
However, the Peloponnesian War had so weakened the entire Greek civilization's military strength that it lay open to invasion. In 357 BC, the islands were conquered by the king Mausolus of Caria, then in 340 BC by the Persians. But this second period of Persian rule proved to be nearly as short as the first, and the islands became part of the rapidly growing Macedonian Empire as Alexander the Great swept through and defeated the Persians in 332 BC, to the great relief of the islands' inhabitants.
Following the death of Alexander, the islands, and even Rhodes itself, were split up among the many generals who contended to succeed him. The islands formed strong commercial ties with the Ptolemies in Egypt, and together they formed the Rhodo-Egyptian alliance which controlled trade throughout the Aegean in the 3rd century BC. Led by Rhodes, the islands developed into maritime, commercial and cultural centers: coins of Rhodes circulated almost everywhere in the Mediterranean, and the islands' schools of philosophy, literature and rhetoric were famous. The Colossus of Rhodes, built in 304 BC, perhaps best symbolized their wealth and power.
In 164 BC, Rhodes signed a treaty with Rome, and the islands became aligned to greater or lesser extent with the Roman Empire while mostly maintaining their autonomy. Rhodes quickly became a major schooling center for Roman noble families, and, as the islands (and particularly Rhodes) were important allies of Rome, they enjoyed numerous privileges and generally friendly relations. These were eventually lost in 42 BC, in the turmoil following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, after which Cassius invaded and sacked the islands. Thereafter, they became part of the Roman Empire proper. Titus made Rhodes capital of the Provincia Insularum, and eventually the islands were joined with Crete as part of the 18th Province of the Roman Empire.
In the 1st century, Saint Paul visited the islands twice, and Saint John visited numerous times; they succeeded in converting the islands to Christianity, placing them among the first dominantly Christian regions. Saint John eventually came to reside among them, being exiled to Patmos, where he wrote his famous Revelation.
As the Roman Empire split in 395 AD into Eastern and Western halves, the islands became part of the Eastern part, which later evolved into the Byzantine Empire. They would remain there for nearly a thousand years, though these were punctuated by numerous invasions. It was during this period that they began to re-emerge as an independent entity, and the term Dodecanese itself dates to around the 8th century. Copious evidence of the Byzantine period remains on the islands today, most notably in hundreds of churches from the period which can be seen in various states of preservation.
In the 13th century, with the Fourth Crusade, Italians began invading portions of the Dodecanese, which had remained under the nominal power of the Empire of Nicea; Venetians (Querini, Cornaro) and Genoese families (Vignoli) each held some islands for brief periods, while Basilian monks ruled on Patmos and Leros. Finally, in the 14th century, the Byzantine era came to an end when the islands were taken by forces of the Knights Hospitaller (Knights of St. John): Rhodes was conquered in 1309, and the rest of the islands fell gradually over the next few decades. The Knights made Rhodes their stronghold, transforming its capital into a grandiose medieval city dominated by an impressive fortress, and scattered fortresses and citadels through the rest of the islands as well.
These massive fortifications proved sufficient to repel invasions by the Sultan of Egypt in 1444 and Mehmed II in 1480. Finally, however, the citadel at Rhodes fell to the large army of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1522, and the other islands were overrun within the year. The few remaining Knights fled to Malta.
Thus began a period of several hundred years in the Ottoman Empire. The Dodecanese formed the Vilayet of the islands. The population was allowed to retain a number of privileges provided it submitted to Ottoman rule. By Suleiman's edict, they paid a special tax in return for a special autonomous status that prohibited Ottoman generals from interfering in their civil affairs or mistreating the population. These guarantees, combined with a strategic location at the crossroads of Mediterranean shipping, allowed the islands to prosper. Although sympathies of the overwhelmingly Greek population (only Rhodes and Kos had Turkish communities) leaned heavily towards Greece following its declaration of independence in 1822, the islanders did not join the Greek War of Independence, continuing instead a semi-autonomous existence as an archipelago of Greek merchants within the Ottoman Empire. Indeed, the 19th century turned out to be one of the islands' most prosperous, and a number of mansions date from this era.
After the outbreak of the Italian-Turkish war over nearby Libya, the islands finally declared independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, proclaiming an independent state as the Federation of the Dodecanese Islands. This nascent state was quashed almost immediately by the invasion of Italy, which wanted the islands, and particularly the fortress of Rhodes, to control communication between Turkey and Libya. The Italians occupied all the Dodecanese except for Kastelorizo, which was later temporarily seized by France.
After the end of the war, according to the First Treaty of Lausanne, Italy maintained the occupation of the islands as guarantee for the execution of the treaty. The occupation continued after Italy declared war on the Ottoman Empire (21 August 1915) during the First World War.
The islands became an important naval base for Britain and France, Italy was allied with both nations during World War I. The Dodecanese were used as a staging area for numerous campaigns, most famously the one at Gallipoli. Some of the smaller islands were occupied by the French and British, but Rhodes remained under Italian occupation.
Following the war, the Tittoni – Venizelos agreement, signed on July 29, 1919 called for the smaller islands to join with Greece, while Italy maintained control of Rhodes. The treaty further outlined an exchange where Italy would receive Antalya for southwest Anatolia. The Greek defeat in the Greco-Turkish War and the foundation of modern Turkey prevented the exchange. Italy formally annexed the Dodecanese as the Possedimenti Italiani dell'Egeo under the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne. Mussolini embarked on a program of Italianization, hoping to make Rhodes a modern transportation hub that would serve as a focal point for the spread of Italian culture in the Levant. The islands were overwhelmingly Greek-speaking, with Turkish-speaking minority and even smaller Ladino-speaking Jewish minority. Immigrant Italian speakers were a nominal language community.
The Fascist program did have some positive effects in its attempts to modernize the islands, resulting in the eradication of malaria, the construction of hospitals, aqueducts, a power plant to provide Rhodes' capital with electric lighting and the establishment of the Dodecanese Cadastre. The main castle of the Knights of St. John was also rebuilt. The concrete-dominated Fascist architectural style detracted significantly from the islands' picturesque scenery (and also reminded the inhabitants of Italian rule), and has consequently been largely demolished or remodeled, apart from the famous example of the Leros town of Lakki, which remains a prime example of the architecture.
From 1936 to 1940 Cesare Maria De Vecchi acted as governor of the Italian Aegean Islands promoting the official use of the Italian language and favoring a process of italianization, interrupted by the beginning of WWII. In the 1936 Italian census of the Dodecanese islands, the total population was 129,135, of which 7,015 were Italians.
During World War II, Italy joined the Axis Powers, and used the Dodecanese as a naval staging area for its invasion of Crete in 1940. After the surrender of Italy in September 1943, the islands briefly became a battleground between the Germans and Allied forces, including the Italians (see Battle of Leros). The Germans prevailed in the Dodecanese Campaign, and although they were driven out of mainland Greece in 1944, the Dodecanese remained occupied until the end of the war in 1945, during which time nearly the entire Jewish population of 6,000 was deported and killed. Only 1,200 of these Ladino speaking Jews survived, thanks to their lucky escape to the nearby coast of Turkey.
Post-World War II
Following the war, the islands became a British military protectorate, and were almost immediately allowed to run their own civil affairs, upon which the islands became informally united with Greece, though under separate sovereignty and military control. Despite objections from Turkey, which desired the islands as well, they were formally united with Greece by the 1947 Peace Treaty with Italy, ending 740 years of foreign rule over the islands. As a legacy of its former status as a jurisdiction separate from Greece, it is still considered a separate "entity" for amateur radio purposes, essentially maintaining its status as an independent country "on the air." Radio call signs in the Dodecanese begin with the prefix SV5.
Today, Rhodes and the Dodecanese are popular travel destinations.
The Dodecanese Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, and its territory was divided into 4 peripheral units of the South Aegean Periphery:
Municipalities and communities
The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well.
Municipality YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code Afantou 1205 851 03 22410-50 through 53, 56, 57 Archangelos 1202 851 02 22440-2 Astypalaia 1203 859 00 22430-4 Attavyros 1204 Empona 851 09 22460-5 Chalki 1227 851 10 22460-45 Dikaio 1206 Zipari 853 00 Ialysos 1208 851 01 22410-90 through 98 Irakleides 1207 Antimacheia 853 02 22420-6 Kallithea 1209 Kalythies 851 05 22410-6, 84 through 87 Kalymnos 1210 852 00 22430-2, 50, 59 Kameiros 1211 Soroni 851 06 22410-40 through 42 Karpathos 1212 858 00 22450-2 Kasos 1213 857 00 22450-4 Kos 1214 853 00 22420-2 Leipsoi 1215 850 01 22470-4 Leros 1216 854 00 22470-2 Lindos 1217 851 07 22440-2,3 Megisti/Kastelorizo 1218 851 11 22460-49 Nisyros 1219 853 03 22420-3 Patmos 1222 855 00 22470-3 Petaloudes 1223 Kremasti 851 04 22410-90 through 98 Rhodes 1224 851 00 22410-2,3,4,6,7,8 South Rhodes 1220 Gennadi 851 09 22440-4 Symi 1225 856 00 22460-70 through 72 Tilos 1226 850 02 22460-44 Community YPES code Seat (if different) Postal code Area code Agathonisi 1201 Agathonissi 850 01 22470 Olympos 1221 857 00 22450
- Province of Patmos – Patmos
- Province of Kalymnos – Kalymnos
- Province of Kos – Kos
- Province of Rhodes – Rhodes City
- Province of Karpathos & Kasos – Karpathos
^ a: Note that in the Middle Ages, the term "Dodecanese" was used by the Byzantines and the Latins for the Cyclades. Until the 19th century, the modern Dodecanese were not differentiated from the other Southern Sporades. They became a distinct group as the "Twelve Islands" only through the Italian occupation from 1912 on.
- ^ Peter Saundry, C.Michael Hogan & Steve Baum. 2011. Sea of Crete. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds.M.Pidwirny & C.J.Cleveland. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC.
- ^ The Dodecanese and the East Aegean ... - Google Books. p. 436. ISBN 9781858288833. http://books.google.com/books?id=fJ3gVGqB1uQC&pg=PA436&lpg=PA436&dq=de+vecchi+dodecanese+italian+language#PPA436,M1. Retrieved 2009-07-19.
- ^ Ahrweiler, Hélène (1966) (in French), Byzance et la mer. La Marine de Guerre, la politique et les institutiones maritimes de Byzance aux VIIe–XVe siècles, Paris, p. 80
- ^ "Τα Δωδεκάνησα την παραμονή της Επανάστασης του 1821" (in Greek). Rhodes Central Municipal Library. http://www.rhodeslibrary.gr/info/2006_1/B1.html. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
- Doumanis, Nicholas. "Italians as "Good" Colonizers: Speaking Subalterns and the Politics of Memory in the Dodecanese," in Ruth Ben-Ghiat and Mia Fuller, ed.s, Italian Colonialism. New York: Palgarve Macmillian. 2005. ISBN 0312236492.
Dodecanese Islands The 12 major islands Minor islands
Adelfoi Syrnas Islets · Agathonisi · Agioi Theodoroi Halkis · Agreloussa · Alimia · Antitilos · Anydros Patmou · Archangelos · Arefoussa · Arkoi · Armathia · Astakida · Chalavra · Chalki · Chiliomodi Patmou · Chondros · Chteni · Faradonesia · Farmakonisi · Fokionisia · Fragos · Gaidaros · Glaros Kinarou · Gyali · Imia · Kalolimnos · Kalovolos · Kalymnos · Kamilonisi · Kandeloussa · Karavolas Rodou · Kinaros · Koubelonisi · Kouloundros · Kouloura Leipson · Kounoupoi · Koutsomytis · Leipsoi · Levitha · Makronisi Kasou · Makronisi Leipson · Makry Aspronisi Leipson · Makry Halkis · Marmaras · Mavra Levithas · Megalo Aspronisi Leipson · Megalo Glaronisi · Megalo Sofrano · Mesonisi Seirinas · Mikro Glaronisi · Mikro Sofrano · Nimos · Pacheia Nisyrou · Pergoussa · Piganoussa · Pitta · Plati Pserimou · Plati Symis · Pontikousa · Prasonisi · Prasouda · Pserimos · Safonidi · Ro · Saria · Seirina · Sesklio · Strongyli Kastellorizou · Strongyli Kritinias · Telendos · Tragonisi · Zafora
Articles on the Aegean SeaGeneral Countries Other CycladesAmorgos · Anafi · Andros · Antimilos · Antiparos · Delos · Despotiko · Donoussa · Folegandros · Gyaros · Ios · Irakleia · Kardiotissa · Kea · Keros · Kimolos · Koufonisia · Kythnos · Milos · Mykonos · Nata · Naxos · Paros · Polyaigos · Rineia · Santorini · Schoinoussa · Serifopoula · Serifos · Sifnos · Sikinos · Syros · Therasia · Tinos · Vous DodecaneseAgathonisi · Arkoi · Armathia · Alimia · Astakida · Astypalaia · Çatalada · Chalki · Chamili · Farmakonisi · Gaidaros · Gyali · Imia/Kardak · Kalolimnos · Kalymnos · Kandelioussa · Kara Ada · Karpathos · Kasos · Kinaros · Kos · Küçük Tavşan Adası · Leros · Lipsi · Lebynthos · Nimos · Nisyros · Patmos · Pacheia · Platy · Pserimos · Rhodes · Saria · Salih Ada · Symi · Syrna · Telendos · Tilos · Zafora North Aegean Saronic Sporades Cretan· Agia Varvara · Agioi Apostoloi · Agioi Pandes · Agioi Theodoroi · Agios Nikolaos · Anavatis · Arnaouti · Aspros Volakas · Avgo · Crete · Daskaleia · Dia · Diapori · Dionysades · Elasa · Ftena Trachylia · Glaronisi · Gramvousa · Grandes · Kalydon (Spinalonga) · Karavi · Karga · Katergo · Kavallos · Kefali · Kolokythas · Koursaroi · Kyriamadi · Lazaretta · Leon · Mavros · Mavros Volakas · Megatzedes · Mochlos · Nikolos · Palaiosouda · Peristeri · Peristerovrachoi · Petalida · Petalouda · Pontikaki · Pontikonisi · Praso Kissamou · Prosfora · Pseira · Sideros · Souda · Valenti · Vryonisi Other Prefectures of Greece
Achaea and Elis (1833) · Achaea (1899) · Adrianople (1920)‡ · Aetolia-Acarnania (1833) · Arcadia (1833) · Argolis and Corinthia (1833) · Argolis (1899) · Argyrokastron (1915)§ · Arta (1882) · Attica and Boeotia (1833) · Attica (1899) · Boeotia (1899) · Chalkidiki (1915) · Chania (1912) · Chios (1915) · Corfu (1864) · Corinthia (1899) · Cyclades (1833) · Dodecanese (1947) · Drama (1915) · Elis (1899) · Euboea (1833) · Evros (1920) · Evrytania (1899) · Florina (1915) · Grevena (1964) · Heraklion (1912) · Imathia (1947) · Ioannina (1915) · Kallipolis (1920)‡ · Karditsa (1899) · Kastoria (1941) · Kavala (1915) · Kefallinia (1864) · Kilkis (1934) · Korytsa (1915)§ · Kozani (1915) · Lacedaemon (1899) · Laconia (1833) · Lakoniki (1899) · Larissa (1882) · Lasithi (1912) · Lefkada (1864) · Lesbos (1915) · Magnesia (1899) · Messenia (1833) · Pella (1930) · Phocis and Locris (1833) · Phocis (1899) · Phthiotis and Phocis (1845) · Phthiotis (1899) · Pieria (1947) · Piraeus (1964) · Preveza (1915) · Rethymno (1912) · Rhaedestos (1920)‡ · Rhodope (1920) · Samos (1915) · Saranta Ekklisies (1920)‡ · Serres (1915) · Sfakia (1912) · Thesprotia (1937) · Thessaloniki (1914) · Trikala (1882) · Trifylia (1899) · Xanthi (1944) · Zakynthos (1864)
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Dodecanese — Dodécanèse Nome du Dodécanèse Νομός Δωδεκανήσου Statistiques … Wikipédia en Français
Dodécanèse — archipel de la mer égée (comprenant douze îles, notam. Cos et Pátmos) et nome de Grèce; 2 705 km²; 162 430 hab.; ch. l. Rhodes. Ces îles, turques depuis 1522, conquises par l Italie en 1912, furent attribuées à la Grèce en 1947 (traité de Paris) … Encyclopédie Universelle
Dodecanese — [do dek΄ə nēz′, do dek′ənēs′] group of Greek islands in the Aegean, off the SW coast of Turkey: 1,048 sq mi (2,714 sq km); pop. 163,000 Dodecanesian [do dek′ənē′zhən, do dek′əshən] adj., n … English World dictionary
Dodécanèse — 36° 22′ 23″ N 27° 13′ 05″ E / 36.373, 27.218 … Wikipédia en Français
Dodecanese — /doh dek euh nees , neez , doh dek euh /, n. a group of 12 Greek islands in the Aegean, off the SW coast of Turkey: belonged to Italy 1911 45. 121,017; 1035 sq. mi. (2680 sq. km). * * * ▪ islands and department, Greece Modern Greek… … Universalium
Dodecanese — geographical name islands Greece in the SE Aegean comprising the Southern Sporades S of Ikaria & Samos; belonged to Italy 1923 47 area 486 square miles (1264 square kilometers), population 162,439 see Rhodes • Dodecanesian adjective or noun … New Collegiate Dictionary
Dodecanese — noun An island chain consisting of twelve main islands including Rhodes, its capital … Wiktionary
Dodecanese — Chain of twelve Greek islands, including Rhodes and Kos … Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors
Dodecanese — isl. group, Aegean Sea; a dept. of Greece; 1,036 sq. mi.; pop. 120,000; cap. Rhodes … Webster's Gazetteer
Dodecanese — n. group of 12 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea off the southwest coast of Turkey … English contemporary dictionary