Lindos Acropolis, Rhodes
The worship of Athena Lindia was pre-Hellenic, according to myth, although the occasional excavation findings do not support this. The sanctuary’s history starts with the Geometric era (9th c. BC). Kleoboulos, the tyrant of Lindos during the Archaoc era, resurrected the worship and erected a temple, most likely on the site of an earlier one. The Archaic temple followed the same Doric tetrastyle amphiprostyle pattern as the next one.
According to the myth, the tyrant Kleoboulos was punished by being turned into a rock for disrespecting Athena Lindia. This myth is still alive among the people of Lindos and it is believed that the rock Kleoboulos was transformed into can be found at the entrance to the Acropolis.
Another key feature of the Acropolis of Lindos is the abundance of ancient artifacts that have been unearthed over the centuries. During the 19th century, excavations at the site uncovered a variety of objects, from votive offerings to everyday household items. The most significant of these artifacts include a large bronze statue of Athena Lindia and a marble head of the goddess Hera. These treasures provide a glimpse into the long history of the Acropolis and the many cultures that have influenced its development.
A rugged flight of stairs led up to the sanctuary. After it was destroyed by fire in 342 BC, the current temple was constructed, complete with the Propylaea and the massive stairway. The Hellenistic stoa is a later addition. The worship of Zeus Polieus was established in the third century BC, but Athena remained the sanctuary’s primary goddess. During the Roman era, the priest Aglochartos planted olive trees on the site, and an inscription claims that the Sanctuary of Psithyros was constructed near the Temple of Athena (2nd c. AD).