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The early history of Monaco is primarily concerned with the protective and strategic value of the Rock of Monaco, the area's chief geological landmark, which served first as a shelter for ancient peoples and later as a fortress. Part of Liguria's history since the fall of the Roman Empire, from the 14th to the early 15th century the area was contested for primarily political reasons. Since that point, excepting a brief period of French occupation, it has remained steadily under the control of the House of Grimaldi.
Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is about 15 km from the state border with Italy.
The Rock of Monaco is a 62-metre (203 ft) tall monolith on the Mediterranean coast of the Principality of Monaco. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the port.
Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy; its capital is Genoa. The region almost coincides with the Italian Riviera and is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns, and cuisine.
The Rock of Monaco served as a shelter for the area's early humans from the end of the Paleolithic period, approximately 400,000 BC, evidence of which has been found in a cave in St. Judist's Gardens. According to the accounts of historian Diodorus Siculus and geographer Strabo, the area's first permanent settlers were the mountain-dwelling Ligures, who emigrated from their native city of Genoa, Italy. However, the ancient Ligurian language, which probably was Indo-European, is not directly connected to the Italian dialect spoken by the modern inhabitants of Liguria, nor to the modern Monegasque language.
The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic, also called the Old Stone Age, is a period in human prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone tools that covers c. 99% of human technological prehistory. It extends from the earliest known use of stone tools by hominins c. 3.3 million years ago, to the end of the Pleistocene c. 11,650 cal BP.
Diodorus Siculus or Diodorus of Sicily was an ancient Greek historian. He is known for writing the monumental universal history Bibliotheca historica, much of which survives, between 60 and 30 BCE. It is arranged in three parts. The first covers mythic history up to the destruction of Troy, arranged geographically, describing regions around the world from Egypt, India and Arabia to Europe. The second covers the Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great. The third covers the period to about 60 BC. Bibliotheca, meaning 'library', acknowledges that he was drawing on the work of many other authors.
Strabo was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
During the 6th-century BC, Phocaeans from Massalia (modern day Marseille) founded the colony of Monoikos.The name of the colony derives from the local veneration of the Greek demigod Hercules, also later adopted by the Romans, who was said to have constructed the ancient path that passed through the region from Spain to Italy. The Roman emperor Julian also wrote of Hercules's construction of Monaco's port and a coastal road. The road was dotted with altars to Hercules, and a temple dedicated to him was established on the Rock of Monaco. The name Port Hercules was subsequently used for the ancient port. Monoeci meaning "Single One" or Monoikos meaning "Single House" could be a reference to Hercules or his temple, or the isolated community inhabiting the area around the rock.
Phocaea or Phokaia was an ancient Ionian Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia. Greek colonists from Phocaea founded the colony of Massalia in 600 BC, Emporion in 575 BC and Elea in 540 BC.
Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on the Mediterranean coast near the mouth of the Rhône. The city covers an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 869,815 in 2016. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after those of Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010.
Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.
According to the "travels of Hercules" theme, also documented by Diodorus Siculus and Strabo, both Greeks and native Ligurian people asserted that Hercules passed through the area.
The Ligures were an Indo-European people who appear to have originated in, and gave their name to, Liguria, a region of north-western Italy. Elements of the Ligures appear to have migrated to other areas of western Europe, including the Iberian peninsula.
Hercules is a Roman hero and god. He was the Roman equivalent of the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures.
After the Gallic Wars, Monoecus, which served as a stopping-point for Julius Caesar on his way to campaign in Greece, fell under Roman control as part of the Maritime Alps province (Gallia Transalpina).
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul. While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix's attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.
Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a populist Roman dictator, politician, military general, and historian who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He also wrote Latin prose.
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a sovereign state located in Southern and Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
The Roman poet Virgil called it "that castled cliff, Monoecus by the sea" ( Aeneid , VI.830). The commentator Servius's use of the passage (in R. Maltby, Lexicon of Ancient Latin Etymologies, Leeds) asserts, under the entry portus, that the epithet was derived:
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him.
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It comprises 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter. The first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas's wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem's second half tells of the Trojans' ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed.
dictus autem Monoecus vel quod pulsis omnibus illic solus habitavit, vel quod in eius templo numquam aliquis deorum simul colitur.
"either because Hercules drove off everyone else and lived there alone, or because in his temple no other of the gods is worshipped at the same time."
No temple to Hercules has been found at Monaco (see also Lucan 1.405.), although the rocky ground and dense conurbation make future excavations unlikely.
The port is mentioned in Pliny the Elder's Natural History (III.v) and in Tacitus's Histories (III.42), when Fabius Valens was forced to put into the port (Fabius Valens e sinu Pisano segnitia maris aut adversante vento portum Herculis Monoeci depellitur).
Monaco remained under Roman control until the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The city was then under the domain of Odoacer until his fall at the hands of the Ostrogoths in the late 5th century. Monaco was recaptured by the Romans during the reign of Justinian in the mid-6th century and was held until its capture by the Lombards in the 7th century. Monaco then passed hands between the Lombards and Franks. Though these raids left the area almost entirely depopulated, the Saracens were expelled in 975, and by the 11th century the area was again populated by Ligurians.
In 1191, Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI granted suzerainty over the area to the city of Genoa, the native home of the Ligurians. On 10 June 1215, a detachment of Genoese Ghibellines led by Fulco del Cassello began the construction of a fortress atop the Rock of Monaco. This date is often cited as the beginning of Monaco's modern history.
As the Ghibellines intended their fortress to be a strategic military stronghold and center of control for the area, they set about creating a settlement around the base of the Rock to support the garrison; in an attempt to lure residents from Genoa and the surrounding cities, they offered land grants and tax exemption to new settlers.
The Grimaldis, descended from Otto Canella and taking their name from his son Grimaldo, were an ancient and prominent Guelphic Genoese family. Members of this family, in the course of the civil strife in Genoa between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, took refuge in Monaco, accompanied by various other Guelphic families, most notably the Fieschis.
Francesco Grimaldi seized the Rock of Monaco in 1297, starting the Grimaldi dynasty, under the sovereignty of the Republic of Genoa. The Grimaldis acquired Menton in 1346 and Roquebrune in 1355, enlarging their possessions. In 1338 Monegasque ships under the command of Carlo Grimaldi participated, along with those of France and Genoa, in the English Channel naval campaign. Plunder from the sack of Southampton was brought back to Monaco, contributing to the principality's prosperity.
Honoré II, Prince of Monaco secured recognition of his independent sovereignty from Spain in 1633, and then from Louis XIII of France by the Treaty of Péronne (1641). Since then the area has remained under the control of the Grimaldi family to the present day, except when under French control during the French revolution from 1793 to May 17, 1814, as part of the département of Alpes-Maritimes.
The principality was re-established in 1814, only to be designated a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Monaco remained in this position until 1860, when by the Treaty of Turin, Sardinia ceded to France the surrounding county of Nice (as well as Savoy).
With the protectorate, that lasted nearly half a century, Italian was the official language of Monaco. The Monégasque dialect is closer to Italian than French, but influenced by both.
During this time there was unrest in the towns of Menton and Roquebrune, which declared independence, hoping for annexation by Sardinia and participation in the Italian Risorgimento. The unrest continued until the ruling prince gave up his claim to the two towns (some 95% of the country), and they were ceded to France in return for four million francs. This transfer and Monaco's sovereignty was recognised by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861.
Designated as a protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna after Napoleon's defeat, Monaco's sovereignty was confirmed by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. France accepted the existence of the Principality of Monaco, but annexed 95% of its former territory (the areas of Menton and Roquebrune). Monaco's military defense since then has been the responsibility of France.
The Prince of Monaco was an absolute ruler until the Monegasque Revolution of 1910 forced him to proclaim a constitution in 1911.
The famous Casino of Monte Carlo opened in 1863, organized by the Société des bains de mer de Monaco, which also ran the Hotel de Paris. Taxes paid by the S.B.M. have been plowed into Monaco's infrastructure. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railway link to France.
In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, written into the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests. One of the motivations for the treaty was the upcoming Monaco Succession Crisis of 1918.
While Prince Louis II's sympathies were strongly pro-French, he tried to keep Monaco neutral during World War II but supported the Vichy French government of his old army colleague, Marshal Philippe Pétain.
Nonetheless, his tiny principality was tormented by domestic conflict partly as a result of Louis's indecisiveness, and also because the majority of the population was of Italian descent; many of them supported the fascist regime of Italy's Benito Mussolini.
In November 1942, the Italian Army invaded and occupied Monaco.Soon after in September 1943, following Mussolini's fall in Italy, the German Army occupied Monaco and began the deportation of the Jewish population.
Among them was René Blum, the prominent French Jew who founded the Ballet de l'Opera in Monte Carlo, was arrested in his Paris home and held in the Drancy deportation camp outside the French capital before being transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was later killed. [ citation needed ] The country was liberated, as German troops retreated, on 3 September 1944.Blum's colleague Raoul Gunsbourg, the director of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, helped by the French Resistance, escaped arrest and fled to Switzerland. In August 1944, the Germans executed René Borghini, Joseph-Henri Lajoux and Esther Poggio, who were Resistance leaders. Under Prince Louis's secret orders, the Monaco police, often at great risk to themselves, warned in advance those people whom the Gestapo planned to arrest.
The current ruler, Prince Albert II, succeeded his father Prince Rainier III in 2005. Prince Rainier, in turn, had acceded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949.
The revised Constitution of Monaco, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment, provided for female suffrage, established a Supreme Court to guarantee fundamental liberties and made it difficult for a French national to transfer his or her residence there.
In 1993, Monaco became a member of the United Nations with full voting rights.
In 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco clarifies that if there are no heirs to carry on the dynasty, the Principality will remain an independent nation, rather than be annexed by France. Monaco's military defense, however, is still the responsibility of France.
The principality's mild climate, attractive scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world-famous as a tourism and recreation centre.
Menton is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.
Monaco City is the southcentral ward in the Principality of Monaco. Located on a headland that extends into the Mediterranean Sea, it is nicknamed The Rock. The name "Monaco City" is misleading: it is not itself a city, but a historical and statistical district.
The House of Grimaldi is associated with the history of the Republic of Genoa, Italy, and of the Principality of Monaco. The Grimaldi dynasty is a princely house originating in Italy, founded by the Genoese leader of the Guelphs, Francesco Grimaldi, who in 1297 took the lordship of Monaco along with his soldiers dressed as Franciscans. In that principality his successors have reigned to the present day. During much of the Ancien Regime the family spent much of its time in the French court, where from 1642 they used their French title of Duke of Valentinois. The current head of the family is Albert II of Monaco, Sovereign Prince of Monaco, son and successor of Prince Rainier III and the princess consort Grace of Monaco, formerly Grace Kelly.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France between Monaco and Menton. The name was changed from Roquebrune to differentiate the town from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the neighboring Var department.
Monégasque is a variety of Ligurian, a Gallo-Italic language spoken in Monaco as well as nearby in Italy and France.
Charles III was Prince of Monaco and Duke of Valentinois from 20 June 1856 to his death. He was the founder of the famous casino in Monte Carlo, as his title in Monegasque and Italian was Carlo III.
Florestan I, Prince of Monaco was Prince of Monaco and Duke of Valentinois from 2 October 1841 until his death. He was born Tancrède Florestan Roger Louis Grimaldi the second son of Prince Honoré IV and Louise d'Aumont Mazarin and succeeded to the throne on the death of his brother, Honoré V.
Mentonasc is a Romance dialect historically spoken in and around Menton, France. It is classified as a dialect of Occitan and a sub-dialect of Vivaro-Alpine, with some strong influence from the neighbouring Intemelian Ligurian dialect spoken from Ventimiglia to San Remo.
La Turbie is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France.
Charles I of Monaco, Lord of Monaco was a 14th century soldier and noble. He was the founder of the Grimaldi dynasty.
The official language of Monaco is French. In addition, there are several other languages spoken, including Monégasque, the national language of the Monégasque people.
The Prince's Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco. Built in 1191 as a Genoese fortress, during its long and often dramatic history it has been bombarded and besieged by many foreign powers. Since the end of the 13th century, it has been the stronghold and home of the Grimaldi family who first captured it in 1297. The Grimaldi ruled the area first as feudal lords, and from the 17th century as sovereign princes, but their power was often derived from fragile agreements with their larger and stronger neighbours.
Italian irredentism in Nice was the political movement supporting the annexation of the County of Nice to the Kingdom of Italy.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Monaco:
The postal history of Monaco can be traced to the principality’s first postmark in 1704. Stampless covers are known with both manuscript and handstamp postmarks for Monaco and Fort d'Hercule ; as the principality was once much larger, postmarks of the communes of Menton and Roquebrune prior to their 1848 secession might also be included. Monaco used Sardinian stamps from 1851 until 1860, when by the Treaty of Turin, Sardinia ceded to France the surrounding county of Nice and relinquished its protectorate over Monaco; French stamps with Monaco or Monte-Carlo postmarks were used thereafter. Two forms of cancellation are known for the French period. With the first, the postmark is on the cover away from the stamps; an obliterator with an identifying post office number 4222, or later 2387, inside a diamond of ink dots cancelled the actual stamps. The second applied the postmark directly on the stamps, as both a date stamp and cancel. All of these postal forerunners, particularly usages of Sardinian stamps with Monaco cancels, are far more valuable than the same stamps postally used in the issuing countries.
Ercole Grimaldi, Marquis of Baux was a member of the House of Grimaldi. He was the first Monegasque prince and heir apparent to the first Monegasque sovereign prince, Honoré II. Dying at the age of 27, Baux was replaced as heir apparent by his son Louis who succeeded Honoré II.
Franco-Monegasque relations are the special relationship between France and Monaco.
The Municipality of Monaco is the only administrative division of the Principality of Monaco, and is coterminous with the state as a whole.
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