PAT'MOS (pat'mos). A small, rocky island belonging to the group called "Sporades," in that part of the Aegean known as the Icarian Sea. On account of its rocky, barren, and desolate nature the Roman government used the island as a place of banishment for criminals. The prisoners were compelled to work the mines of the island. The emperor Domitian banished the apostle John to this island (Rev 1:9), A.D. 95. Patmos was the locale for the far-reaching apocalyptic visions of the book of the Revelation. The fifty-mile-square Aegean island has magnificent scenery and the white crags of the shoreline and the beauty of the open ocean furnish an example of a geographical background that aids the biblical interpreter to expound the events and experiences of the revelator who was banished to its shores.
M.F.U. (From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)
Rev 1:9. One of the Sporades. A small rugged island of the Icarian Sea, part of the Aegean; 20 miles S. of Samos, 24 W. of Asia Minor, 25 in circumference. The scene of John's banishment (by Domitian), where he "was in the Spirit on the Lord's day." The rocky solitude suited the sublime nature of the Revelation. On a hill in the southern half of the island is the monastery of John the divine, and the traditional grotto of his receiving the Apocalypse. In the middle ages called Palmosa from its palms; now there is but one, and the island has resumed its old name Patmo or Patino. It is unvisited by Turks, without any mosque, and saddled with moderate tribute, free from piracy, slavery, and any police but their own.
(from Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1998 by Biblesoft)
(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 Isa 10 miles long, and about 6 broad along the northern coast. It is for the most part rocky. The highest part is Mount St. 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, St. 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 Num 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 St. 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. J. E. HARRY
(from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)
[PAT muhs]-a small rocky island to which the apostle John was banished and where he wrote the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:9). The island, about 16 kilometers (ten miles) long and ten kilometers (six miles) wide, lies off the southwest coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Because of its desolate and barren nature, Patmos was used by the Romans as a place to banish criminals, who were forced to work at hard labor in the mines and quarries of the island. Because Christians were regarded as criminals by the Roman emperor Domitian (ruled A.D. 81-96), the apostle John probably suffered from harsh treatment during his exile on Patmos. An early Christian tradition said John was in exile for 18 months.
Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson