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.

Today some 200-300 metres from the point where the big ships now dock at Skala, in the dock itself, exists a red (or orange) buoy to mark the spot where, just beneath the surface, is a submerged rock, some people say, is man-shaped and represents the petrified magician.

The locals share the story that during World War II, the Italians sent divers down to dynamite the rock. After several attempts with an extraordinary amount of explosives nothing would have any affect. Fisherman say that any Octopus that is caught near the rock are completely inedible.



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.

Upon finding him at the seashore he challenged John to prove the existence of "God" by way of a magical duel in front of the new Christian followers. Kynops began to put on a sensational display of magic. Kynops told John to bring to life the father of one of the Patmian onlookers who was there and John refused.

Kynops dived into the water, emerging with phantoms of recently dead Patmians and a man resembling the Patmian man's father, flaunting his magical power. The crowd was so impressed with Kynops they cheered him and he incited them to attack John, which they did, leaving him for dead.

But the saint revived and confronted Kynops the next morning. John began to pray to God and made the sign of the cross. The sorcerer plunged into the sea once again but never returned. Tired of waiting for his reappearance for three days, the crowd dispersed and turned to Christianity.