History of the city of Tekirdağ dates back to around 4000 BC. The ancient city of Rodosto is said to have been founded by Samians. In Xenophons Anabasis it is mentioned as in the kingdom of the Thracian prince Seuthes. Its restoration by Justinian I in the 6th century A.D. is chronicled by Procopius. In 813 and again in 1206 it was sacked by the Bulgarians after the battle of Rodosto, but it continued to appear as a place of considerable note in later Byzantine history.
In the Ottoman period the city was a part of the vilayet (province) of Edirne.
In 1905, the city had a population of about 35,000, of whom half were Greeks who were exchanged with Muslims living in Greece under the 1923 agreement for Exchange of Greek Orthodox and Muslim Populations between the two countries.
Tekirdağ was long a great depot for the produce of the Edirne province, but its trade suffered when Alexandroupolis became the terminus of the railway up the river Maritsa (also called Evros in Greek).