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