Historically, Rethymnon was first a Minoan settlement which was situated east of the fortress, and later the ancient autonomous city of Rithymna; later a small Roman town; and during the 9th and 10th centuries and Arab one. Its history during Byzantine times is largely unknown, It fell to the Venetians during the 13th century. The town center during those times was closer to the shore, including the old Venetian and Turkish districts near what is called the Inner Harbor. There were many Greek converts to Islam during Ottoman rule (something that happened in all Crete) though they continued intermarrying with Christians, drinking wine, and speaking Greek. The population of Rethymnon by the 19th century was mostly Muslim, but in 1923 most of them were evicted to the new nation of Turkey during the compulsory exchange of Muslims and Christians that followed the disastrous Greco-Turkish conflict. 'Chronicle of a City', by Cretan author Prevelakis, deals with this traumatic event.