🔼The name Patara: Summary
- From patar, the Lycian word for basket.
🔼The name Patara in the Bible
The name Patara belonged to one of the port cities of Asia Minor, located at the south-west point of Anatolia (modern Turkey). It was originally Lycian but in Roman times it became attached to the province of Pamphylia.
Patara was a bustling sea port but traditionally mostly noted for its temple and oracle of Apollo, which, according to writers such as Virgil and Plutarch, were second only to those in Delphi.
The name Patara occurs only once in the Bible. It is mentioned as where Paul stopped on his way from Macedonia to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1). Paul doesn't seem to have stayed long in Patara (or at all, even) and journeyed on to Phoenicia.
🔼Etymology and meaning of the name Patara
The Greek name Patara is a transliteration of the original Lycian name Pttara, which in turn derives from the name of a mountain, namely Mount Patar, which is mentioned in the Hittite Yalburt Inscription, and which turn appears to have been named after the Lycian word for basket, again patar (Lycia - Crossroads of Hittite and Greek Traditions? — Annick Payne).
Later Greek mythology dictated that Patara was named after Patarus, who was a son of Apollo and Lycia, daughter of Xanthus (Hecataeus, FGrH.IF.256).