Radom appeared in history for the first time in the early Middle Ages, but the first note on Radom came from an edict of Pope Hadrian IV from the 12th century. It is generally assumed that the city took its name from Radomir, or the tribe of Radomirans. Here, in the valley of the Mleczna River, a castle surrounded by a double rampart and a moat was built in the second half of the 10th century.
New Radom was established in the 14th century when King Casimir the Great decided to strengthen the role of towns of Poland. The town received its civic rights in 1364, based on the frequently copied model of Magdeburg law. The city flourished during the reign of the Jagiellonian dynasty, and the city’s location at the crossroads of important routes enabled Radom to develop trade and services. The kings often visited Radom, and it served as the location for sessions of the Sejm and other state events.
During the Swedish Deluge in 17th century the city and the castle were burned down, leaving only 37 houses and 375 inhabitants. During the time of the partitions in the 19th century, Radom was held successively by Austria and Russia. As an important administrative centre the town gradually developed its industries of leather, metallurgy and food. A direct road to Warsaw was marked out and railroad lines to Deblin and Dabrowa Gornicza were built.
When Poland regained independence in 1918, following World War I, Radom was returned to Poland and the development of the town speeded up. The city became part of the Central Industrial District, the most modern in Poland, with the building of the State Arms Factory as well as other important investments. During World War II, Radom fell into German hands, and these years of war were the worst time for the region – with the extermination of Polish and Jewish inhabitants, deportations to concentration camps, and inhuman cruelty becoming an everyday reality.
The liberation of the city came in 1945, and the city started growing rapidly. The former suburbs were urbanised thanks to new housing developments, and the number of residents grew. Cultural life in Radom also flourished, especially the theatre, museums, and local libraries. In the years 1975-1998, Radom was the capital of voivodship but in 1999 it was included into the Masovian Voivodship.