owes its origins to the count of Melgueil (Mauguio) who presented a certain
Guilhem with the Monte pestalario estate towards the end of the 10th century.
Its counts, most of them Guilhems, ruled the city from the 11th century. They were skilled in finding rich partners for their children. Marie married Peter II of Aragon in 1204 and four years later their son, Jaime I, was born in Montpellier. The city remained under the control of the Kings of Majorca until Philippe VI de Valois, the King of France bought it.
Montpellier became prosperous in the 13th century. Spices, sugar and silk arrived from Lattes (serving as Montpellier's port) on the river Lez. Great profits were made from the city's near monopoly in red dye. The colorant used was 'cochenille', a parasitic insect living on native evergreen oaks. In addition to the growth in trade, intellectaul activity gathered momentum with the founding of the facultiers of medicine, law and theology.
the 15th & 16th centuries, Montpellier became an administrative centre
for financial and legal institutions. The bishopric was also transferred
to the city from Maguelone.
The Revolution was the city's next major unheaval period in history. (wasn't it everywhere) A time of food shortages and the guillotine.