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Patmos (Municipality, Greece)


Last modified: 2015-08-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Patmos - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 11 June 2014

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Presentation of Patmos

The municipality of Patmos (3,047 inhabitants in 2011, 3,405 ha) includes the island of Patmos, the offshore islands of Arkoi (Αρκοί, 54 inh.) and Marathos (Μάραθος, 5 inh.), and several uninhabited islets.
The municipality was not modified with the 2011 local government reform.

According to a legend within the Greek mythology, the island's original name was Letois, after the goddess Artemis, daughter of Leto. It was believed that Patmos came into existence thanks to her divine intervention. The earliest remains of human settlements date to the Middle Age of Bronze (c. 2000 BC). During the Classical period, the Patmians identified themselves as Dorians descending from families of Argos, Sparta, and Epidaurus, further mingling with people of Ionian ancestry.
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. 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.

Early Christian life on Patmos barely survived Muslim raids from the 7th to the 9th century. During this period, the Grand Basilica was destroyed. In the 11th century, the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos gave Christodoulos the complete authority over the island of Patmos, as well as the permission to build a monastery on the island. The construction of the monastery started in 1101. Population was expanded with Byzantine immigrants fleeing the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, and Cretan immigrants fleeing the fall of Candia in 1669.
The island was controlled by the Ottoman Empire for many years, but it enjoyed privileges, mostly related to tax-free trade by the monastery. In 1912, in connection with the Italo-Turkish War, the Italians occupied all the islands of the Dodecanese, including Patmos. Patmos was used as base for the Royal Italian Navy. The Italians remained there until 1943, when Nazi Germany took over the island.
In 1945, after the Germans evacuated the island, it came under British administration, until March 1948 when together with the other Dodecanese Islands, Patmos was united with Greece.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 June 2014

Flag of Patmos

The flag of Patmos (Kokkonis website) is light purple with a white emblem in the middle.

Olivier Touzeau, 11 June 2014