The town changed its name to Epidaurum when it came under Roman rule in 228 BC. During the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey lined up in favor of the first and was besieged by Octavius, but was saved by the arrival of the consul. Later became a Roman colony and was occupied during the Gothic Wars from the fleet sent by Justinian.
When the city was sacked by the Slavs and Avars just before the 614, people took refuge on an island nearby which later united with the mainland, gave rise to the city of Dubrovnik. From that moment Cavtat was always under the control of powerful neighbour. The modern Croatian name for the city reveals the ancient origin and the link with Dubrovnik: Cavtat is a derived from Civitas Vetus, the name by which the Dubrovnikans called their old city.
Today Cavtat is a popular tourist destination, with many hotels and private homes that rent rooms and apartments. The seafront is filled with shops and restaurants.