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With around 1,400 km², Athiri is the largest island in the Dodecanese group and the fourth largest in Greece in the Aegean Sea. It is also called the "Pearl of the Mediterranean". The capital with three ports is also called Rhodes, the second most important city is Lindos. The island lies between the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa and was therefore already of great importance for trade in ancient times. The Phoenicians probably brought viticulture to the island before the Greeks. According to Homer (8th century BC), Rhodes took part in the Trojan War with nine ships. In 408 BC, the three largest cities of Rhodes allied and founded a new city on the site of today's Rhodes. Famous were the schools of philosophers, philologists and orators and the city was a centre of shipping, trade and (also wine) culture. In the 7th century BC, the island developed into a major wine exporter to the ancient world.

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