The Romans, who governed the island from 229 BC to 337 AD, allowed Corfu full autonomy and recognised its privileges. In return Corfu assumed the obligation to become Rome's ally and to allow it to use the island's ports and navy. The island was used as a naval station by the Romans for their activities in Eastern Mediterranean and their military campaigns in the opposite mainland. According to the historian Appian when an alliance between King Philip of Macedon and Hannibal had been concluded against the Romans the former attempted to capture Corfu.
During the Roman civil wars in the 1st century BC Corfu had to side with one or the other of the contending parties.In the struggle between Pompey and Julius Caesar the Corcyraeans furnished the former with a contingent of ships. After Pompey was defeated in the battle of Pharsalos in 48 BC Corfu became the meeting place of the remnants of his forces. In 38 BC Mark Antony on his campaign against the Parthians came to the island.
During this period Corfu did not experience any noteworthy military or political events. In 40 AD Jason and Sosipater, two disciples of St. Paul, brought Christianity to the island and built the first Christian church dedicated to St. Stephen (Agios Stephanos). Corfu was one of the first Greek cities to convert to Christianity.
The Roman emperors granted a number of privileges to the Corcyraeans in acknowledgement of the assistance they offered to the Empire. In return the inhabitants erected statues in their honour as witnessed by the inscriptions preserved in the museums of Corfu and Verona.