Until 228 BC
Illyria/Liburnia. The island of Rab was first mentioned in ancient Greek travelogues and maritime guides in the period of the Illyrian Liburnians, the oldest inhabitants of the island of Rab.
2nd century BC – 5th century AD
The Romans conquered Rab. The Emperor Octavian Augustus gave the town the status of municipium, that is, a town with an independent government.
The foundation of San Marino, the oldest republic in Europe. Legend has it that it was founded by the stonemason Marinus, who was born in Lopar on the island of Rab. While looking for work, Marinus and his friend Leo went to Rimini. Due to the persecution of the Christians, he fled to the nearby hill of Monte Titano. There, he built a chapel and the core of the future town of San Marino.
The arrival of the Slavs on the island of Rab.
During the reign of the most powerful Croatian King, Petar Krešimir IV (1058-1073), Rab again became part of the Kingdom of Croatia. The monks of the Benedictine order contributed to the spreading of culture on Rab. Many valuable items have remained preserved up to the present day in local churches and monasteries.
Euphrasius’ Basilica was built.
The period between the 12th and 18th centuries
The history of Rab was marked by frequent changes of ruler: the island was under the Venetians, the Croatian-Hungarian King Coloman, King Bela III, King Louis I of Hungary, Ladislaus of Naples, and the Croatian-Hungarian King Sigismund. In the Middle Ages, Rab became an important trading point between east and west. The numerous grand buildings from this period attest to the prosperity the island enjoyed. However, at the time of its greatest well-being, Rab was devastated by plague in 1449 and 1456, when a large part of the local population fled to the mainland and neighbouring islands. After Bosnia fell under Turkish rule, many people fleeing from the Turks came to Rab in 1463. Rab remained under Venetian rule until the arrival of Napoleon on 12 May 1797.
The fall of Venice marked the beginning of Austrian rule, which was briefly interrupted by the period of Napoleon's Illyrian provinces (1809-1813).
After the end of World War One, Rab and parts of Dalmatia came under Italian rule.
In 1921, Rab became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War Two, Rab was occupied by the Italians, and later the Germans and Ustaše. The anti-fascists of Rab contributed to the final victory and liberation. Rab became part of Yugoslavia, and then, after its break-up in 1991, part of the Republic of Croatia.