The Byzantine Period
When the Roman Empire was divided into Eastern and Western sections, Lesvos became part of the Eastern, that is, the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines neglected the island. They used it as the Roman’s had, as a place of exile for undesirables, such as Irene the Athenian, Symeon Magister, Constantine VIII Monomachos, to name but a few. During this period there were repeated attacks by the Saracens and Lesvos was plundered then by the Venetians and the Crusaders. The island passed successively to the Latin Empire and to Nicaea before finally returning to Byzantine rule in 1261.