Patara (Lycia)

Patara (Lycian: 𐊓𐊗𐊗𐊀𐊕𐊀 Pttara; Greek: Πάταρα), later renamed Arsinoe (Ἀρσινόη), was a flourishing maritime and commercial city on the south-west coast of Lycia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey near the modern small town of Gelemiş,[1] in Antalya Province. It is the birthplace of St. Nicholas, who lived most of his life in the nearby town of Myra (Demre).

Patara ruins
A picture of some of the ruins in Patara. Note a city gate at the lower left corner and the theatre set on the hillside.
Patara (Lycia) is located in Turkey
Patara (Lycia)
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameArsinoe
LocationGelemiş, Antalya Province, Turkey
Coordinates36°15′58.38″N 29°19′2.0″E / 36.2662167°N 29.317222°ECoordinates: 36°15′58.38″N 29°19′2.0″E / 36.2662167°N 29.317222°E
Site notes
Public accessYes
WebsitePatara Archaeological Site
A view back across the city ruins from the top of the theatre
A view of the partially restored main street of Patara


The site is a plain surrounded by hills and included in ancient times a large natural harbor (since silted up). On the northeast of the harbor is Tepecik Hill upon which there is a Bronze Age site. The later city is on the flanks of this hill and to the south and west.[2] The site of the oracle and temple of Apollo have not been found.


Patara was said to have been founded by Patarus (Greek: Πάταρος), a son of Apollo.[3][1] It was situated at a distance of 60 stadia to the southeast of the mouth of the river Xanthos.[4][1] Patara was noted in antiquity for its temple and oracle of Apollo, second only to that of Delphi.[5][1] The god is often mentioned with the surname Patareus (Greek: Παταρεύς).[6] Herodotus[7] says that the oracle of Apollo was delivered by a priestess only during a certain period of the year;[1] and from Servius[8] we learn that this period was the six winter months.[1] It seems certain that Patara received Dorian settlers from Crete; and the worship of Apollo was certainly Dorian. Ancient writers mentioned Patara as one of the principal cities of Lycia.[9][1] It was Lycia's primary seaport, and a leading city of the Lycian League, having 3 votes, the maximum.

The city, with the rest of Lycia, surrendered to Alexander the Great in 333 BC. During the Wars of the Diadochi, it was occupied in turn by Antigonus and Demetrius, before finally falling to the Ptolemies. Strabo informs us that Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt, who enlarged the city, gave it the name of Arsinoe (Arsinoë) after Arsinoe II of Egypt, his wife and sister, but it continued to be called by its ancient name, Patara.[1] Antiochus III captured Patara in 196 BC. The Rhodians occupied the city, and as a Roman ally, the city with the rest of Lycia was granted its freedom in 167 BC. In 88 BC, the city suffered siege by Mithridates IV, king of Pontus and was captured by Brutus and Cassius, during their campaign against Mark Antony and Augustus. It was spared the massacres that were inflicted on nearby Xanthos. Patara was formally annexed by the Roman Empire in 43 AD and attached to Pamphylia.

Patara is mentioned in the New Testament[10] as the place where Paul of Tarsus and Luke changed ships. The city was Christianized early, and several early bishops are known; according to Le Quien,[11] they include:[12]

Nicholas of Myra was born at Patara around March 15, 270 AD.

Patara is mentioned among the Lycian bishoprics in the Acts of Councils (Hierocl. p. 684).[1] The Notitiae Episcopatuum mention it among the suffragans of Myra as late as the thirteenth century.[12]

The city remained of some importance during the Byzantine Empire as a way-point for trade and pilgrims. After the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum acquisition in 1211 the city declined and appears to have been deserted by 1340.[2]

With the demise of the bishopric as a residential see, Patara became a titular see and is included as in the Catholic Church's list of such sees.[13]


The name Patara is still attached to the numerous ruins of the city. These, according to the survey of Capt. Francis Beaufort, are situated on the sea-shore, a little to the eastward of the river Xanthus, and consist of a theatre excavated in the northern side of a small hill (Kurşunlu Hill[2]), a ruined temple on the side of the same hill, and a deep circular pit, of singular appearance, which may have been the seat of the oracle. The town walls surrounded an area of considerable extent; they may easily be traced, as well as the situation of a castle which commanded the harbour, and of several towers which flanked the walls. On the outside of the walls there is a multitude of stone sarcophagi, most of them bearing inscriptions, but all open and empty; and within the walls, temples, altars, pedestals, and fragments of sculpture appear in profusion, but ruined and mutilated. The situation of the harbour is still apparent, but it is a swamp, choked up with sand and bushes.[14][1] The theatre was built in the reign of Antoninus Pius; its diameter is 265 feet, and has about 30 rows of seats.[15][1] There are also ruins of thermae, which, according to an inscription upon them, were built by Vespasian.[16][1]

Excavation history

In 1993 a Roman milestone was unearthed at Patara, the Stadiasmus Patarensis. It is a monumental pillar on which is inscribed in Greek a dedication to Claudius and an official announcement of roads being built by the governor, Quintus Veranius Nepos, in the province of Lycia et Pamphylia, giving place names and distances, essentially a monumental public itinerarium.[17] The pillar is on display in the garden of the Antalya Museum.

The site is currently being excavated during two summer months each year by a team of Turkish archaeologists. At the end of 2007, all the sand had been cleared from the theatre and some other buildings, and the columns on the main street had been partially re-erected (with facsimile capitals). The excavations have revealed masonry in remarkable condition.


Apart from its ancient ruins, Patara is also famous for the 18 kilometres (11 mi)-long Patara Beach, which is situated on the Turkish Riviera.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1857). "Patara". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 2. London: John Murray. pp. 555–556.
  2. ^ a b c Peschlow, Urs (2017), "Patara", in Niewohner, Philipp (ed.), The Archaeology of Byzantine Anatolia, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 280–290, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610463.003.0025
  3. ^ Strabo xiv. p. 666; Stephanus of Byzantium s. v.)
  4. ^ Stadiasm. Mar. Mag. § 219.
  5. ^ Smith, William (1854). Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography. London : Walton & Maberly. pp. 554–555. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  6. ^ (Greek: Παταρεύς), Strabo xiv. p. 666; Lycophron 920; Horat. Carm. iii. 4. 64; Stat. Theb. i. 696; Ovid Met. i. 515; Virgil Aeneid iv. 143; Pomponius Mela, i. 15.
  7. ^ Herodotus i. 182.
  8. ^ Servius, Commentario ad Aeneidos
  9. ^ Livy, xxxiii. 41, xxxvii. 15-17, xxxviii. 39; Polybius xxii. 26; Cicero p. Flacc. 32; Appian, B.C. iv. 52, 81, Mithr. 27; Pliny ii.112, v. 28; Ptolemy v. 3. § 3, viii. 17. § 22; Dionys. Per. 129, 507.
  10. ^ Acts 21:1-3.
  11. ^ Oriens christianus, I, 977.
  12. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Patara" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
  13. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 950
  14. ^ Beaufort, Karmania, pp. 2, 6.
  15. ^ A plan is given in William Martin Leake, Asia Minor p. 320.
  16. ^ Sir C. Fellows, Tour in Asia Min. pp. 222ff; Discov. in Lycia, p. 179, foil.; Texier, Description de l'Asie Mineure faite par ordre du Gouvernement français, which contains numerous representations of the ancient remains of Patara; Spratt and Forbes, Travels in Lycia, i. pp. 31f.
  17. ^ S. Sahin, "Ein vorbericht über den Stadiasmus Provinciae Lyciae", Lykia 1 1997:130-37.


  • Blue Guide, Turkey, (ISBN 0-393-32137-1), pp. 373–374.

External links

Aedesius of Alexandria

Saint Aedesius of Alexandria (also Edese or Edesius) (died 306) was an early Christian martyred under Galerius Maximianus. He was the brother of Saint Aphian (or Amphianus). According to the martyrology, he publicly rebuked a judge who had been forcing Christian virgins to work in brothels in order to break them of their faith, so he was tortured and drowned.

April 2 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

April 1 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - April 3

All fixed commemorations below are observed on April 15 by Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar.For April 2nd, Orthodox Churches on the Old Calendar commemorate the Saints listed on March 20.

Babadağ (mountain)

Babadağ (ancient Mount Anticragus, Ancient Greek: Ἀντίκραγος) is a mountain near Fethiye, in Muğla Province, southwest Turkey.The mountain has a principal summit at an elevation of 1,969 metres (6,460 ft) and a second one called "Karatepe" at an elevation of 1,400 metres (4,593 ft). These two summits face each other and are separated by a flood valley, which led to the term "mountain range" to be used in some sources in association with Babadağ. The mass is composed mainly of limestone. It is noted for its rich flora, including the endemic Acer undulatum, and forests of Cedrus libani.

It is also notable for the proximity of its summit to the sea (less than 5 km) which is one of the factors that make it particularly suitable and popular for paragliding.


Eudemus (Ancient Greek: Εὔδημος, Eudēmos) may refer to:

Eudemus of Cyprus, d. 353 BC, a political exile from Cyprus and friend of Aristotle, after whom Aristotle's dialogue Eudemus, or On the Soul was named: see Corpus Aristotelicum#Fragments

Eudemus of Rhodes, c. 370-300 BC, philosopher and student of Aristotle

Eudemus (general), d. 316 BC, general of Alexander the Great

Eudemus (physician), any of several Greek physicians, 4th century BC–2nd century AD

Eudemus of Pergamum, 3rd century BC, teacher of Philonides of Laodicea and dedicatee of Book 2 of Apollonius of Perga's Conics

Eudemus of Pergamum, 2nd century BC, implicated in the enmity between Tiberius Gracchus and Q. Pompeius

Eudemus of Argos, 2nd century AD, author of On Rhetorical Language (Περὶ λέξεων ῥητορικῶν), perhaps an important source of the Suda

Avdimi of Haifa, an Amora of the late 3rd/early 4th century AD

Eudemus, Bishop of Patara (Lycia), 4th century AD

Eudemos, the name of two Catholicoi of the Catholicate of Abkhazia (16th and 17th centuries)

Eudemos I, of the Diasamidze family, Catholicos of Kartli in the 1630s

Gaius Trebonius Proculus Mettius Modestus

Gaius Trebonius Proculus Mettius Modestus was a Roman senator of the 2nd century AD who held a number of offices in the imperial service, as well as serving as suffect consul in 103 as the colleague of Marcus Flavius Aper.Modestus was a member of the Mettii. Hans-Georg Pflaum first traced the rise of this family, identifying their origins in Petelia, a small Greek-speaking town in Bruttium, whence they emigrated to Arles when Julius Caesar settled one of their ancestors, a soldier or centurion of his Legio VI, there. Modestus' immediate ancestors were his grandfather, Marcus Mettius Modestus, procurator of Syria, and his father Marcus Mettius Rufus, governor of Roman Egypt from the year 89 to 92, which made them prominent members of the equites order. His entrance into the Senate was facilitated by his uncle Mettius Modestus, suffect consul in 82. A brother Marcus Mettius Rufus is known, who died before he could reach the consulate.Modestus clearly has a polyonymous name, although the identity of Trebonius Proculus has not been investigated, either as the person who adopted Modestus, or as his maternal grandfather.

Marcus Junius Mettius Rufus, suffect consul in 128, has been identified as his biological son.


Lycia (Lycian: 𐊗𐊕𐊐𐊎𐊆𐊖 Trm̃mis; Greek: Λυκία, Lykía; Turkish: Likya) was a geopolitical region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and Burdur Province inland. Known to history since the records of ancient Egypt and the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, it was populated by speakers of the Luwian language group. Written records began to be inscribed in stone in the Lycian language (a later form of Luwian) after Lycia's involuntary incorporation into the Achaemenid Empire in the Iron Age. At that time (546 BC) the Luwian speakers were decimated, and Lycia received an influx of Persian speakers. Ancient sources seem to indicate that an older name of the region was Alope (Ancient Greek: Ἀλόπη, romanized: Alópē).Lycia fought for the Persians in the Persian Wars, but on the defeat of the Achaemenid Empire by the Greeks, it became intermittently a free agent. After a brief membership in the Athenian Empire, it seceded and became independent (its treaty with Athens had omitted the usual non-secession clause), was under the Persians again, revolted again, was conquered by Mausolus of Caria, returned to the Persians, and finally fell under Macedonian hegemony upon the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great. Due to the influx of Greek speakers and the sparsity of the remaining Lycian speakers, Lycia was rapidly Hellenized under the Macedonians, and the Lycian language disappeared from inscriptions and coinage.

On defeating Antiochus III in 188 BC the Romans gave Lycia to Rhodes for 20 years, taking it back in 168 BC. In these latter stages of the Roman republic Lycia came to enjoy freedom as a Roman protectorate. The Romans validated home rule officially under the Lycian League in 168 BC. This native government was an early federation with republican principles; these later came to the attention of the framers of the United States Constitution, influencing their thoughts.Despite home rule, Lycia was not a sovereign state and had not been since its defeat by the Carians. In 43 AD the Roman emperor Claudius dissolved the league, and Lycia was incorporated into the Roman Empire with provincial status. It became an eparchy of the Eastern, or Byzantine Empire, continuing to speak Greek even after being joined by communities of Turkish language speakers in the early 2nd millennium. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century, Lycia was under the Ottoman Empire, and was inherited by the Turkish Republic on the fall of that empire. The Greek and Turkish population was exchanged when the border between Greece and Turkey was negotiated in 1923.


Patara may refer to the following places and jurisdictions :

in Asian Turkey

Patara (Lycia), a former Ancient city and bishopric, now a Latin Catholic titular see

Patara (Cappadocia), an ancient city in Turkeyin India

Patara, Jalandhar, a village in Punjab

Patara, Kanpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh

Saint Nicholas

Saint Nicholas of Myra (traditionally 15 March 270 – 6 December 342), also known as Nicholas of Bari, was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek maritime city of Myra in Asia Minor (Ancient Greek: Μύρα, modern-day Demre, Turkey) during the time of the Roman Empire. He is revered by many Christians as a saint. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus ("Saint Nick") through Sinterklaas.

Very little is known about the historical Saint Nicholas. The earliest accounts of his life were written centuries after his death and contain many legendary elaborations. He is said to have been born in the Greek seaport of Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor to wealthy Christian parents. In one of the earliest attested and most famous incidents from his life, he is said to have rescued three girls from being forced into prostitution by dropping a sack of gold coins through the window of their house each night for three nights so their father could pay a dowry for each of them. Other early stories tell of him calming a storm at sea, saving three innocent soldiers from wrongful execution, and chopping down a tree possessed by a demon. In his youth, he is said to have made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return, he became Bishop of Myra. He was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, but was released after the accession of Constantine. An early list makes him an attendee at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, but he is never mentioned in any writings by people who were actually at the council. Late, unsubstantiated legends claim that he was temporarily defrocked and imprisoned during the Council for slapping the heretic Arius. Another famous late legend tells how he resurrected three children, who had been murdered and pickled in brine by a butcher planning to sell them as pork during a famine.

Fewer than 200 years after Nicholas's death, the St. Nicholas Church was built in Myra under the orders of Theodosius II over the site of the church, where he had served as bishop and Nicholas's remains were moved to a sarcophagus in that church. In 1087, while the Greek Christian inhabitants of the region were subjugated by the newly arrived Muslim Seljuk Turks, and soon after their church was declared to be in schism by the Catholic church, a group of merchants from the Italian city of Bari removed the major bones of Nicholas's skeleton from his sarcophagus in the church without authorization and brought them to their hometown, where they are now enshrined in the Basilica di San Nicola. The remaining bone fragments from the sarcophagus were later removed by Venetian sailors and taken to Venice during the First Crusade. His relics in Bari are said to exude a miraculous watery substance known as "manna" or "myrrh", which some members of the faithful regard as possessing supernatural powers.

Journeys of Paul the Apostle
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Second journey
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Black Sea
Central Anatolia
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