In late Antiquity, the town, attested in the fourth century CE, was named Mediolanum Aulercorum, "the central town of the Aulerci", the Gallic tribe then inhabiting the area. Mediolanum was a small regional centre of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. Julius Caesar wintered eight legions in this area after his third campaigning season in the battle for Gaul (56-55 BC): Legiones VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII and XIV.
Counts of Évreux
The first known members of the family of the counts of Évreux were descended from an illegitimate son of Richard I, duke of Normandy; these counts became extinct in the male line with the death of Count William in 1118. The county passed in right of Agnes, William's sister, wife of Simon de Montfort-l'Amaury (d. 1087) to the house of the lords of Montfort-l'Amaury. Amaury VI de Montfort-Évreux ceded the title in 1200 to King Philip Augustus, whose successor Philip the Fair presented it in 1307 to his brother Louis d'Évreux, for whose benefit Philip the Long raised the countship of Évreux into a peerage of France in 1317.
Philip d'Évreux, son of Louis, became king of Navarre by his marriage to Joan II of Navarre, daughter of Louis the Headstrong, and their son Charles the Bad and their grandson Charles the Noble were also kings of Navarre. The latter ceded his countships of Évreux, Champagne and Brie to King Charles VI of France in 1404.
In 1427 the countship of Évreux was bestowed by King Charles VII on Sir John Stuart of Darnley (c. 1365–1429), the commander of his Scottish bodyguard, who in 1423 had received the seigniory of Aubigny, and in February 1427/8 he was granted the right to quarter the royal arms of France for his victories over the English.
On Stuart's death (before Orléans during an attack on an English convoy) the countship reverted to the crown. It was again temporarily alienated (1569–1584) as an appanage for François, Duke of Anjou, and in 1651 was finally given to Frédéric Maurice de La Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon, in exchange for the principality of Sedan.
Évreux was heavily damaged during the Second World War, and most of its centre was rebuilt. The nearby Évreux-Fauville Air Base was used by the United States Air Force until 1967, and since then by the French Air Force.
Évreux Cathedral has been the seat of the bishops of Évreux since its traditional founder, Saint Taurin of Évreux, most probably working between 375 and 425; Bishop Maurusius was present at the Council of Orléans in 511. The earliest parts of the present building, which is mostly Gothic, date from the eleventh century. The west façade and its two towers are mostly from the late Renaissance; the octagonal central tower dates from the late fifteenth century. Of especial note are the Lady chapel and its stained glass, the rose windows in the transepts and the carved wooden screens of the side chapels.
The church of the former abbey of St-Taurin is in part Romanesque. It has a choir of the 14th century and other portions of later date, and contains the thirteenth-century shrine of Saint Taurin.
The episcopal palace, a building of the fifteenth century, adjoins the south side of the cathedral.
The belfry facing the hôtel de ville also dates from the fifteenth century.
Centre of Jewish learning
The following rabbis are known to have lived at Évreux: Samuel ben Shneor, praised by his student Isaac of Corbeil as the "Prince of Évreux", one of the most celebrated tosafists; Moses of Évreux, brother of Samuel, author of the Tosafot of Évreux; Isaac of Évreux; Judah ben Shneor, or Judah the Elder, author of liturgical poems; Meïr ben Shneor; Samuel ben Judah; Nathan ben Jacob, father of Jacob ben Nathan, who in 1357 copied the five Megillot with the Targum for Moses ben Samuel.