It is believed that the city was founded in 212 AD by Alani settlers on the territory of the Bosporan Kingdom. Greek merchants from the Byzantine Empire founded ???????? (a reference to Sogdia) in the 3rd century. In the 6th century, the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I ordered the construction of a fortress. The Khazars attacked in the 7th century, giving it the name Su?daq. The Life of St. Stefan of Surozh (Russian: ??. ?????? ??????????) describes the 8th century town as a dependency of the Byzantine Empire. Around the start of the 9th century, it was supposedly attacked by the Rus' chieftain, Bravlin. It is thought that the Khazars retained the town from the early 800s until 1016, when the Byzantines finally defeated the Khazar warlord Georgeios Tsulo. Afterwards, the town seems to have preserved some sort of autonomy within the Byzantine Empire.
From the 9th century until around the 12th century, there were important trade exchanges between the then Surozh and the Kievan Rus'.
It became an important location for trading on the Silk Road in the 12th and 13th centuries, despite attacks by the Kypchaks in the 11th century and further damages inflicted by the Tatars (in 1223, but also in 1239). The Seljuk Anatolian Sultanate of Iconium army and fleet from Sinop held and fortified Sudak in 1224
The Venetians also came to Sudak at the beginning of the 13th century to take their share, naming the fortress Soldaia, before ceding it to Genoese control in 1365. The Ottomans took control of Soldaia and all other Genoese colonies, as well as the Principality of Theodoro in 1475. Although Sudak was the strategical center of the qad?l?q, the smallest administrative unit of the Ottoman Empire, the town lost much of its military and commercial importance, until the Crimean Khanate took over.
In 1771, Sudak was occupied by Rumyantsev's army. In 1783, it definitively passed to the Russian Empire, with the rest of Crimea. Though sometimes contested,