History of Patmos Island, Greece - Encircle Photos

42 History of Patmos Island, Greece

Archeologic evidence suggests this island was first populated over 5,000 years ago. According to Greek mythology, Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, convinced her father Zeus to raise the island from below the sea. It was then called Letois. Dorians lived here in the 5th and 4th centuries BC (Classical Period). Within a hundred years, the residents began building fortified walls. During the reign of Roman emperor Domitian (81 – 96 AD), political prisoners and social-dissidents were exiled here. John the Theologian was one of them. He arrived from Ephesus in 95 AD. After his death, Christianity took roots on the island until severely challenged by the Muslims in the 7th through 9th centuries. Patmos was largely uninhabited when it was given to Christodulus by emperor Alexios I Komnenos in 1088. Within a couple years, he and his monks were chased away. When his followers returned, they finished building the monastery. The population grew with war refugees from Constantinople (1453) and Candia (1669). For nearly 300 years, the island was successively controlled by the Ottomans, Venetians, Russians, Greeks, Italians and Nazis. After WWII, Patmos was independent until joining Greece in 1948.


Chora, Patmos 855 00, Greece


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