Patara – Birthplace of Saint Nicolas (Santa Claus)

Related Articles

Related Articles

Patara, later known as Arsinoe is an ancient maritime city on the south-west coast of Lycia in the Antalya Province of Turkey.

According to legend, the city was founded by Patarus, a son of Apollo, with evidence of settlement as early as the 5th century BC (although there are archaeological remains of earlier Bronze Age occupation on Tepecik Hill adjacent to the site and references in Hittite text).

Contemporary writers record Patara as one of the principal cities of Lycia where the assemblies of the Lycian league were held, and famous for its temple and oracle of Apollo, with a similar status to that of Delphi.

 

The city was incorporated into the Empire founded by Alexander the Great around 333 BC as a Macedonian hegemony, along with the rest of Lycia.

Image Credit : Vadimph  – CC BY-SA 4.0

In the Wars of the Diadochi among the successors of Alexander, Patara became an important naval base for the Antigonid dynasty, being ruled by Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Demetrius I.

After falling to the expansion of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, Pharaoh Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt enlarged the city and renamed Patara to Arsinoe in dedication to his wife (and sister), Asinoe II.

Patara was annexed by the Roman Empire in AD 43, becoming one of the principle centres of the provincia Lycia, before being attached to Pamphylia in the province of Lycia-Pamphylia. The Romans constructed various public buildings, including a large theatre, basilica, bathhouses, granaries, and numerous commercial buildings.

Image Credit : Vadimph  – CC BY-SA 4.0

The city would become an important Christian centre during the Byzantine period, with the construction of several churches, even being famed as the birthplace of Saint Nicolas in AD 270. Saint Nicolas had many miracles attributed to his intercession but is also known for his generous practice of gift-giving that gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus (“Saint Nick”) through Sinterklaas.

From the 12th to 15th century AD, Patara was ruled by the Turks in the midst of the collapsing Byzantine Empire. The port which served as the primary source of income and trade for the inhabitants silted up, forcing the eventual abandonment of the city which was left to ruin.

Header Image Credit : Vadimph  – CC BY-SA 4.0

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

Camulodunum – The First Capital of Britannia

Camulodunum was a Roman city and the first capital of the Roman province of Britannia, in what is now the present-day city of Colchester in Essex, England.

African Crocodiles Lived in Spain Six Million Years Ago

Millions of years ago, several species of crocodiles of different genera and characteristics inhabited Europe and sometimes even coexisted.

Bat-Winged Dinosaurs That Could Glide

Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, according to a new study led by an international team of researchers, including McGill University Professor Hans Larsson.

Ancient Maya Built Sophisticated Water Filters

Ancient Maya in the once-bustling city of Tikal built sophisticated water filters using natural materials they imported from miles away, according to the University of Cincinnati.

New Clues Revealed About Clovis People

There is much debate surrounding the age of the Clovis - a prehistoric culture named for stone tools found near Clovis, New Mexico in the early 1930s - who once occupied North America during the end of the last Ice Age.

Cognitive Elements of Language Have Existed for 40 Million Years

Humans are not the only beings that can identify rules in complex language-like constructions - monkeys and great apes can do so, too, a study at the University of Zurich has shown.

Bronze Age Herders Were Less Mobile Than Previously Thought

Bronze Age pastoralists in what is now southern Russia apparently covered shorter distances than previously thought.

Legio IX Hispana – The Lost Roman Legion

One of the most debated mysteries from the Roman period involves the disappearance of the Legio IX Hispana, a legion of the Imperial Roman Army that supposedly vanished sometime after AD 120.

Popular stories

Legio IX Hispana – The Lost Roman Legion

One of the most debated mysteries from the Roman period involves the disappearance of the Legio IX Hispana, a legion of the Imperial Roman Army that supposedly vanished sometime after AD 120.

The Secret Hellfire Club and the Hellfire Caves

The Hellfire Club was an exclusive membership-based organisation for high-society rakes, that was first founded in London in 1718, by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and several of society's elites.

Port Royal – The Sodom of the New World

Port Royal, originally named Cagway was an English harbour town and base of operations for buccaneers and privateers (pirates) until the great earthquake of 1692.

Matthew Hopkins – The Real Witch-Hunter

Matthew Hopkins was an infamous witch-hunter during the 17th century, who published “The Discovery of Witches” in 1647, and whose witch-hunting methods were applied during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts.