History of Monaco
History of Grimaldi Family
The Rock of Monaco was a shelter for primitive populations. Traces of their occupation were discovered in a cave in the Saint-Martin Gardens. The first sedentary inhabitants of the region, the Ligures, are described as a mountain people, accustomed to hard work and an exemplary frugality. The coast and the port of Monaco were probably the sea access for the interior Ligurian population, the Oratelli of Peille.
The origin of the name "Monaco" has been subject to several hypotheses. For some, the name comes from the Ligurian tribe, the Monoïkos, who inhabited the Rock in the 6th century B.C. For others, the origin comes from the Greek. In antiquity, the port of Monaco was associated with the cult of the hero Herakles (Hercules for the Romans), and his name was often linked to the expression "Herakles Monoïkos," which means Herakles alone. This version seems to bear out, as the modern name for Monaco's main port is the Port of Hercules.
At the end of the 12th century B.C., the Romans occupied the region. Monaco is part of the Province of the Maritime Alps. During their occupation, the Romans erected at La Turbie, the Trophy of Augustus, which celebrates the triumph of their military campaigns. During this same period, Phoenecian and Carthaginian sailors brought prosperity to the region. After the fall of the Roman Empire (5th century A.D.), the region was regularly sacked by different barbarian populations. It was only at the end of the X century, after the expulsion of the Sarrasins by the Count of Provence, that the coast slowly became repopulated.