The Island's History
The island of Patmos is seldom mentioned by the ancient authors in their books. It is supposed that its prehistoric inhabitants were the Cariens. The name Patmos, it is generally believed, derives from the word Latmos, which is the name of a mountain of Caria, a country situated across the island in Asia Minor where the goddess Diane (Artemis), was particularly adored.
Patmos was at times colonized by the Doriens and thereafter followed the Ionians. It is said that the mythology hero Oreste pursued by the Erinnyes (the Furies), because he killed his mother Clytemnestra, took shelter in Patmos, coming with the Argiens.
The walls of the 6th and 4th centuries BC, of the ancient Acropole situated over the hill Castelli, are evidences of the location of the ancient town. From the well preserved relics, it is supposed that around the Acropolis ground existed the Apollon Temple, the Bacchus Temple and the Hippodrome. Old cemeteries, pottery fragments, carved works in bas-reliefs, inscriptions, sepulchral stones and other sculptures of the Christian orthodox churches, are all evidences of the flourishing and prosperous stand of ancient Patmos.
In ancient ages, the goddess Diane was particularly adored in Patmos. She was considered as the Patroness of the island. Under the domination of the Romans, the island fell into decline. It was abandoned and was subsequently used as a place of exile.