Rev. 1:9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Although many think that Patmos was a barren Alcatraz-like island where John was exiled, this is not true.
As Franz has stated (p. 115)
First-century Patmos, with its natural protective harbor . . . [was] a large administrative center, [with] outlying villages, a hippodrome (for horse racing), and at least three pagan temples made Patmos hardly an isolated and desolate place!
It has been suggested that one of the those temples, the one dedicated to Aphrodite, was located on the Kalikatous Rock that is located in the Grikos Bay.
View looking east at the area of Grikos Bay—the boat is entering the bay. On the right (south) side of the bay is the Kalikatous Rock (see below). In the distance are the islands east of Patmos. This bay has been officially included in the 2011 catalogue of “the most beautiful bays in the world” by the UNESCO Foundation.
Historical sources indicate that a Temple of Aphrodite was located on the Island of Patmos and many believe that the Temple to Aphrodite was located here but no excavations have taken place. Note the carvings on the rock.
Note the rock-cut stairs and the carvings to the right of the stairs.
Thus it is very possible that the island where John was exiled (Revelation 1:9) was “populated” with not only a citadel and a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, but also with temples dedicated to Artemis (possibly where the Monastery of Saint John is located) and Apollo (possibly near the modern harbor). For these suggestions and references please see Gordon Franz’s article cited below.
To view additional images of the Kalikatsou Roack and the Bay of Grikos on Patmos Click Here.
For a helpful article describing the Patmos that John was exiled to, see Gordon Franz, “The King and I (Part 2).” Bible and Spade 12 (2000): 115–23. It is also available on Gordon Franz’s website Life and Land but without graphics.