During the I century a.C. Christianity began spreading throughout the Western world. According to some sources S. Peter landed in Brindisi and his preaching started here.
What we know for certain is that S. Leucio, the first bishop of B., was the first to evangelise the town. From the middle of the v century, with the fall of the Roman Empire, the Gothes and the Greeks fought over B. Later on it also suffered the invasions of the Longobards and of the Saracens. They sacked the town, massacred the inhabitants and reduced them to slavery. As a consequence they decimated the population and caused the agricultural collapse.
In 886 the Byzantines ruled Salento successfully. They entrusted Brindisi to Lupo Protospapa who tried to help the town recover from its loss. Only in 1071 with the Norman dominion it showed the first signs of rise.
The Norman princes were largely involved in rebuilding the town as well as in the economical and commercial recovery. They rebuilt the “Tempietto di S. Giovanni al Sepolcro”. They also built a cathedral (ordered by king Roger and finished in 1143) and restored the big Roman fountain or “Fontana Tancredi”, which took the name of the king who ordered its restoration in 1192.