a small rocky and barren island, one of the group called the "Sporades," in the AEgean Sea. It is mentioned in Scripture only in Rev. 1:9. It was on this island, to which John was banished by the emperor Domitian (A.D. 95), that he received from God the wondrous revelation recorded in his book. This has naturally invested it with the deepest interest for all time. It is now called Patmo. (See JOHN.)
) a rugged and bare island in the AEgean Sea, 20 miles south of Samos and 24 west of Asia Minor. It was the scene of the banishment of St. John in the reign of Domitian, A.D. 95. Patmos is divided into two nearly equal parts, a northern and a southern, by a very narrow isthmus where, on the east side are the harbor and the town. On the hill to the south, crowning a commanding height, is the celebrated monastery which bears the name of "John the Divine." Halfway up the descent is the cave or grotto where tradition says that St. John received the Revelation.
- pat'-mos (Patomos; Italian: San Giovanni di Patino): A Turkish island of the group Sporades, Southwest of Samos, mentioned once in the Bible, Rev 1:9
, "I, John .... was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (dia ton logon tou theou kai ten marturian Iesou). The island is 10 miles long, and about 6 broad along the northern coast. It is for the most part rocky. The highest part is Mount Elias, which rises to a height of over 800 ft. As in Greece, and in the adjacent mainland of Asia Minor, the land is treeless. Near the city of Patmos there is a good harbor. A famous monastery, Christodulos, was founded on the island in 1088. Near this is a thriving school, attended by students from all parts of the Archipelago. The population of the island numbers 3,000, almost entirely Greek. The ancient capital was on an isthmus between the inlets of La Scala and Merika. Many ruins can still be seen. The huge walls of Cyclopean masonry, similar to those at Tiryns, attest their great age. In Roman times Patmos was one of the many places to which Rome banished her exiles. In 95 AD, according to a tradition preserved by Irenaeus, Eusebius, Jerome and others, John was exiled here--in the 14th year of the reign of Domitian--whence he returned to Ephesus under Nerva (96 AD). The cave in which he is said to have seen his visions is still pointed out to the traveler. Only a small part of the once valuable library in the monastery of Christodulos is left. Just 100 years ago (1814) Mr. E.D. Clark purchased here the manuscript of Plato which is now in the Bodleian Library, the celebrated Clarkianus, a parchment written in the year 895, and admittedly the best of all for the 1st of the 2 volumes into which the works of Plato were divided for convenience. Patmos is mentioned by Thucydides (iii.33), by Pliny (NH, iv.23), and by Strabo (x.5).
See also JOHN, THE APOSTLE; REVELATION OF JOHN.
Tozer, The Islands of the Aegean (1890), 178-95; Walpole, Turkey (London, 1820), II, 43; E.D. Clark, Travels (London, 1818), VI, 2; Ross, Reisen (Stuttgart, 1840), II; Guerin, Description de l'Ile de Patmos (Paris, 1856).
J. E. Harry