The Byzantine Era

During the Byzantine Era there is an increase of information about the Christian history of the village: Epiphanius (4th century) described the concern that Count Joseph showed in asking emperor Constantine for permission to build a few churches in Galilee and even in Nazareth itself. In his biography of Saint Helena, a later author from the 9th century confirmed that Constantine’s mother would have personally searched in Nazareth the house where Mary received the annunciation of the Angel and that would have held a magnificent temple.

Saint Jerome, who saw Nazareth with the disciples Paula and Eustochium, does not record the presence of a place of worship at Mary’s house, perhaps as it was managed by Christian Jews, in contrast with the non-Israelite church from which Jerome came.

In the 6th century, the two Jewish and Christian communities of Nazareth each had their own place of worship: the Jews had the Synagogue and the Christians had the church of Mary’s house, as the diary of any anonymous pilgrim from Piacenza records in (570 ca.). The source tells of a basilica where the pilgrim saw Mary’s robes, said to procure many good things to those who touched them.

With the arrival of the Persians in 614, the Christian community of Nazareth would have suffered a great deal of persecution from the Jewish community allied with Khosrau II. In 630, with the Byzantine conquest of Galilee, the Jews underwent an extreme persecution that formally brought an end to the presence of the Jewish community in Nazareth.

In 670 the pilgrim Arculf found two churches there, one of the Nutrition, the current church of Saint Joseph, and the other of the House of Mary, that of the Basilica of the Annunciation. The pilgrim made no reference to the synagogue belonging to the Jewish community.

There is little information about the Arab period that preceded the Crusades (638-1099).
In 723-726 Willibald noted the single church of the Annunciation, indicated again in 943 by the Arab historian and geographer al Mas'udi.

The story of Nazareth
Ancient Nazareth
The Crusader Period
The Mamluks
The Ottoman Age
The last century