During the early Christian period (330-650 AD), Rhodes was part of the Christianised Roman Empire, better known as the Byzantine Empire.
Although less important and prosperous than in the past, the city of Rhodes was an episcopal see and had a considerable number of churches, among which were some basilicas of impressive proportions. It was also an important military base.
The Arabs who first appeared in the Mediterranean in the 7th century attacked Rhodes and occupied it for a few decades.
In the centuries that followed, the city shrank in size and was fortified with new walls. At the same time, it was divided into two zones, one for the political and military leadership and one for the ‘laity’. This zone reflects the social reality of medieval times.
Due to the lack of written sources, there is an absence of accumulated information about this period. The restorations carried out by the Italians later ignored or even damaged buildings of this period that survived in favour of those of the Knights’ period.