One of the first references to Patmos was from the historian Thucydides the 5th century b.C. However, according to findings, the first signs of human activity on the island date back to the prehistoric era.
During the Roman years (2nd century b.C.), Patmos was a place of exile and by the 10th century A.D. the island was completely deserted after consecutive pirate raids.
In 1088 A.D. when the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos assigned the construction of St John’s Monastery to St. Christodoulos the Latrinos, the workers who arrived on the island formed Chora settlement which was further developed later on with the arrival of refugees.
Patmians played an active role during the Greek war of Independence in 1821. The island is also the birthplace of Emmanuil Xanthos, one of the three founders of the secret organization “Filiki Eteria” (“Society of friends”).
In 1832 according to the decision made by the Treaty of Constantinople, Patmos along with the rest of the Dodecanese islands was included in the Ottoman Empire, in 1912 the islands were given to Italy and they were finally incorporated into Greece the 9th of January 1948.