What is…

also known as: Patino, Patmo and Palmosa

Greek: Πάτμος —transliteration: Patmos —meaning: (unknown) —occurrences: 1

This is a small rocky and barren island, one of the group called the “Sporades,” in the Aegean Sea. Its residents are called Patmians.

Patmos, Greece—satellite view

It is mentioned in Scripture only in the book of Revelation written by the Apostle John through the inspiration of God.

I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the witness of Jesus. —Revelation 1:9 LSB

It was on this island, southwest of Ephesus, to which John was banished by the idolatrous Roman emperor Domitian (95 AD), that he received from God the wondrous revelation recorded in his book. This has naturally invested it with the deepest interest for all time.

Domitian especially worshipped the false goddess Minerva with superstitious veneration as his supposed protector. He was assassinated by his court officials at age 44 (96 AD).

Patmos is seldom mentioned by ancient writers, so very little is known about its earliest history.

Today, the island belongs to Greece and has many Christians. Patmos is located off the west coast of Turkey and the continent of Asia. The highest point is 883 feet above sea level (269 meters).

Patmos is a destination for some Christian pilgrimages. In 1999, the island’s historic center/capital Chora, along with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO because of their significance in Christianity. Also present is the Patmian School, a notable Greek Christian seminary.

Holy Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos, Greece (2015).
Holy Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos, Greece (2015)

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Article Version: June 14, 2024