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Patara

PATARA (păt'a-ra, Greek Πάταρα, G4249). An ancient seaport of [[Lycia]] near the mouth of the [[Xanthus]] in southern [[Asia Minor]]. There was an old shrine of [[Apollo]] situated in the town, hence the poetic title Patareus for the god. The trade of the river valley and its position on the Asia Minor coast gave the port its importance. It was convenient for ships running east before the prevailing autumn wind for [[Phoenicia]] or [[Egypt]]. [[Paul]], for example, made for [[Tyre]] in one stage from Patara (Acts.21.1-Acts.21.2). Because of its fine harbor, its maritime commerce, and its inland trade, Patara was a large city. Its importance may be judged by the fact that it issued its own coinage as early as the 4th cent. b.c. As early as 440 BC autonomous coins were struck there; during the 4th and the 3rd centuries the coinage was interrupted, but was again resumed in 168 BC when Patara joined the Lycian league. The city was said to have been founded by Patarus, the son of Apollo