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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Patara

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PATARA. A great seaport on the coast of Lycia, a few miles E. of the mouth of the Xanthus. The valley of this river is the best part of Lycia, and doubtless from early times Patara had a local trade, but its importance depended on its convenient position for the trade between the West and the Levant. The prevailing winds in this part of the Mediterranean are from the west (especially in the autumn), and ships sailing from the Ægean or from Italy to Phœnicia or Egypt would often risk the voyage straight across the sea from Patara. Thus we find St. Paul on his last journey to Jerusalem ( Acts 21:2 ), after coasting in a slow vessel along the Ægæan, taking a vessel that was sailing straight from Patara to Tyre. Cf. Myra.

Lycia was never definitely colonized by Greeks, and the Lycians spoke a non-Aryan language. But Patara had an early culture, its coins date from b.c. 440, and the chief Lycian god was identified with Apollo, whose celebrated oracle at Patara gave him the title Patareus (Hor. Od . iii. lv., 64).

A. E. Hillard.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Patara'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/p/patara.html. 1909.

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