During Byzantium, Crimea played an important role in the dissemination of Greek culture and Orthodoxy to the Slavs, as well as providing a place of exile and escape for sundry Greek emperors, such as the vicious Justinian II who, having his nose cut off after he was deposed, used Crimea to regroup and re-take the throne, under the sobriquet of "Rhinotmetus" (the slit-nosed).By 1204, when the crusaders took over Constantinople in a most brutal fashion, causing the disintegration of the Byzantine Empire into rival kingdoms, the principality of Theodoro, also known in Greek as Gothia (Γοτθία), owing to the sojourn of Germanic tribes in the region centuries earlier, came under the control of the Komnenus dynasty in Trebizond.Other references make mention of events taking place in the fourteenth century.For example, some chroniclers identifying "Dmitry", one of the three Tartar princes who resisted the incursion of the Lithuanians into Ukraine at the epic Battle of Blue Waters, with a Prince of Gothia, who was tributary to the Emperor in Trebizond.On the other hand, the name "Theodoro" (in the corrupted form Θεοδωραω) appears for the first time in a Greek inscription also dated to 1361 and then again as "Theodoro Mangop" in a Genoese document of 1374.Scholars have suggested that the name of the city was actually "Theodoroi", referring to the saints Theodore Stratelates and Theodore Tiro, but others posit that this is a mere corruption of "To Dory", the city's ancient name.
As a multi-ethnic state situated in the Pontic region of the southern Black Sea, it was the terminus of the famed Silk Road and it was also the last Greek-speaking state to succumb to the Ottoman Empire.
By the 1420s though, the city was colloquially known as "Theodoritsi" (Θεοδωρίτσι) by its inhabitants.
The principality of Theodoro basically aligned its foreign policy to that of its suzerain, Trebizond.
As a bridge between Europe and Asia, it formed an orientalist's paradise, inspiring writers as early as Cervantes to describe his hero Don Quixote as "imagining himself for the valour of his arm already crowned at least Emperor of Trebizond." French writer Rabelais, on the other hand, had his character Picrochole, the ruler of Piedmont, declare: "I want also to be Emperor of Trebizond," while Rose Macaulay begins her classic the Towers of Trebizond with the immortal line: "Take my camel, dear." What is lesser known however, is that the Empire of Trebizond extended far beyond the borders of modern day northern Turkey all the way to Crimea, where the "Lordship of the city of Theodoro and the Maritime Region" (Αὐθεντία πόλεως Θεοδωροῦς καὶ παραθαλασσίας) formed an integral part of the Empire of Trebizond. Since times ancient, Greeks founded colonies in the Crimean region.
In Roman times, a hybrid Greco-Scythian culture emerged under the Bosporan Kingdom, an ally of Rome.