|Much later than the Greek mainland, which had become a Roman province since 146 BC, is that in 82 BC Kos fell under the dominion of the Romans, following the example of the neighboring island of Rhodes , Cos showed a friendly attitude towards the Romans.|
Cos - which was named Coos or Cous - was part of the province of Asia Minor in the Roman Empire, but was granted relative autonomy and tax exemption. In 32 BC, the Emperor Tiberius granted asylum to Asclepieion Kos .
However, after the naval battle of Actium, some of the privileges of the island it was removed when the winner of the battle, Octavian became emperor under the name of Augustus (29 BC - 14 AD -C.) , Cos was in the camp of Marc Antony and Cleopatra, the Ptolemaic dynasty, as opposed to Octave. The end of these privileges initiated a decline in prosperity of the island, decline which was increased by a major earthquake in 27 BC.
The island partly regained its privileges after the year 52 AD, during the reign of Emperor Claudius, because of the reputation of the Asclepion . Indeed, an important public figure of the first century AD, was the doctor from Cos, Gaius Stertinius Xenophon, who had become a courtier and the personal physician of Emperor Claudius in Rome - that perhaps he helped to poison on the instigation of Agrippina ...
In the first century AD, Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) mentions Cos he calls "Nimphea" as major shipping port (Natural History 15:18) .
As for the New Testament, the island of Cos is mentioned only once there, when Paul of Tarsus returned to Jerusalem after his third and final voyage of evangelization, Paul sailed from Miletus in Asia Minor to Kos, and from there to Rhodes . According to the Acts of the Apostles (2:11), Paul spent a night Cos: "When we parted from them and sat down sail, we came by a direct route to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there at Patara. " Local legend says that the future St. Paul made conversions on the island and founded the Christian movement during this very brief stay, however there is no indication that Paul had set foot on the ground during this call.
Despite widespread political instability, Cos had a great development throughout this period. In the second century AD, after yet another destructive earthquake (in 142 AD), there was a general restoration of the city, with the construction of paved streets plants (decumanus maximus, cardo ) and the construction of major public buildings and temples, as well as hot baths and public toilets. The sanctuary of Aphrodite and the Temple of Hercules in the port area, the Agora of the city, were greatly renovated the altar of Dionysus , built according to the archetypes of Pergamum, and the Doric temple near the city of Cos The second temple of Asclepion , rebuilt. This reconstruction gave the city a character definitely Roman. Cos, like the Roman Empire, was compelled to the powerful cult of the emperors, and temples erected in their honor for their sacrifice as to gods.
In addition, private wealth is evidenced by the opulent houses built along the decumanus ( Casa Romana which restored ruins are visible in the archaeological area of the west ), which were decorated with marble floors and mosaics, paintings wall, as well as many statues, many of which can be seen at the Archaeological Museum of the city .
In the third century AD, during the reign of Diocletian (284-305), the island of Cos was incorporated into the kingdom of Caria.
During the fifth and sixth centuries AD, the construction of a number of early Christian basilicas reflects the economic and artistic wealth of the island continues.