Rock of Kynops

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The Rock of Kynops refers to a strange looking rock jutting out of the sea in Petra Bay believed to be the petrified body of a satanical wizard by the name of Kynops destroyed during spiritual combat between Kynops and St. John the Theologian. The story of this combat is attributed to the saint's disciple, Prochorus, and contained in an ancient manuscript still kept hidden in the monastery on Patmos island.

A red buoy, some 200 yards west of the point where big ships now dock at Patmos, marks the spot where supposedly it all happened. Just beneath the surface is a rock some people say is man-shaped: Kynops, petrified in mid-dive by St. John 1,900 years ago.


Legend has it that living on the island at the time was a magician by the name of Kynops (meaning dog face). When he found out that John had arrived in Patmos and was preaching the word of this new god to and baptizing Patmians, Kynops became enraged.

During this time John spent much of his time repelling the demons that Kynops would dispatch with the specific order to carry off his soul. The story goes that Kynops was so enraged that he set off to find John and confront him.

He found John at the seashore and put on a sensational display of magic. He dived into the water, emerged with phantoms of recently dead Patmians and then incited his audience to attack John, which they did, leaving him for dead. But the saint revived and confronted Kynops a second and final time the next morning. John said a prayer, the sorcerer plunged into the sea with a triumphant yell, and three days later the populace dispersed, having waited long enough for his reappearance.