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Patmos

 

Patmos is a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, most famous for being the location of both the vision of and the writing of the Christian Bible's Book of Revelation.

Patmos' main communities are Chora (the capital city), and Skala, the only commercial port. Other settlements are Grikou and Kampos.

The churches and communities on Patmos are of the Eastern Orthodox tradition. The current[when? mayor of Patmos is Grigoris Kamposos.

Patmos is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The book's introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was given (and recorded) a vision from Jesus. Early Christian tradition identified this writer as John the Apostle, though some modern scholars are uncertain, and thus call him the less specific "John of Patmos."

 

Because of the Book of Revelation, Patmos has a long history as a destination for Christian pilgrimage. Visitors can see the cave where John is said to have received his Revelation (the Cave of the Apocalypse), and several monasteries on the island are dedicated to Saint John.

 

In 1999, the island's historic center Chora, along with the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse, were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The monastery was founded by Saint Christodulos. Patmos is also home to the Patmian School, a notable Greek seminary.

Patmos is seldom mentioned by ancient writers. Therefore, very little can be conjectured about the earliest inhabitants. In the Classical period, the Patmians prefer to identify themselves as Dorians descending from the families of Argos, Sparta and Epidaurus, further mingling with people of Ionian ancestry.

Judging from archaeological finds, Kastelli continued to play an important role on the island throughout the Ancient Greek period (c. 750 BC-323 BC).

During the 3rd century BC, in the Hellenistic period, the settlement of Patmos acquired the form of an acropolis with an improved defence through a fortification wall and towers.

Patmos is mentioned in the Christian scriptural Book of Revelation. The book's introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was given (and recorded) a vision from Jesus. Early Christian tradition identified this writer John of Patmos as John the Apostle. As such, Patmos is a destination for Christian pilgrimage.

Visitors can see the cave where John is said to have received his Revelation (the Cave of the Apocalypse), and several monasteries on the island are dedicated to Saint John.

After the death of John of Patmos, possibly around 100, a number of Early Christian basilicas were erected on Patmos. Among these was a Grand Royal Basilica in honour of Saint John, built c. 300-350 at the location where the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian stands today.

 

According to a legend in Greek mythology, the island's original name was "Letois," after the goddess and huntress of deer Artemis, daughter of Leto.

It was believed that Patmos came into existence thanks to her divine intervention.

The myth tells how Patmos existed as an island at the bottom of the sea.

Artemis frequently paid visits to Caria, the mainland across the shore from Patmos, where she had a shrine on Mount Latmos.

There she met the moon goddess Selene, who cast her light on the ocean, revealing the sunken island of Patmos.[citation needed]

Selene was always trying to get Artemis to bring the sunken island to the surface and hence to life. Selene finally convinced Artemis, who, in turn, gained her brother Apollo's help to persuade Zeus to allow the island to arise from the sea.

 

Zeus agreed, and the island emerged from the water. The sun dried up the land and brought life to it. Gradually, inhabitants from the surrounding areas, including Mount Latmos, settled on the island and named it "Letois" in honour of Artemis.