The myths about Rhodes are (typically) full of contradictory traditions. According to one of the oldest myths, the first inhabitants were nine dog-headed enchantresses called Telchines, the Sea Children.
In spite of having flippers for hands, they made the sickle that Cronos used to castrate Uranus, carved the first statues of the gods, and founded Kamiros, Ialysos and Lindos before moving onto Crete.
There Rhea, the Earth, made them nurses of her son Poseidon, and they forged the sea god’s trident. Poseidon fell in love with the Telchines’ sister, Alia, and had six sons and a daughter by her.
The daughter, the nymph Rhodos, became the sole heiress of the island when Zeus decided to destroy the Telchines for meddling with the weather, although their real crime was belonging to a pre-Olympian matriarchal religion. He flooded Rhodes, but the Telchines managed to escape in various forms.
Image by PD art