Busy Rhodes. The island of Rhodes and the development of distribution networks in the eastern Aegean.
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The island of Rhodes was a prosperous state during the Hellenistic period and its power has been the subject of much scholarly debate. In this thesis, I show how this prosperity was already developing during the Archaic period, as Rhodes became part of an evolving network in which different types of objects were distributed. I make use of the works of Irad Malkin and Christy Constantakopoulou on network theory in ancient history to show how Rhodes can be seen as an important node linking different network clusters. In investigating the flows of objects in these clusters, I do not just study ‘trade’ in its narrow sense, but I take on the broad definition of trade as distribution, that Neville Morley has described. In this way, I am able to highlight the many different forms in which distribution activities could contribute to economic development. As there is little written evidence about Rhodes in the Archaic period, I study mainly material evidence. In two case studies, I focus on the archaeological finds in respectively the Rhodian poleis of Kameiros and Lindos. In this way, I demonstrate how Rhodes was part of a growing connectivity in the eastern Aegean during the Archaic period, which must have contributed to its prosperity in later times.