About 480 BC the Phoenicians founded a city called Carthage on the north coast of Africa. They ruled for about 250 years until 218 BC when the Romans conquered Malta.
Malta flourished under Roman rule and it was known for honey and for sailcloth.
At first they would use 150 pebbles in a small pouch in order to keep track.
During the last Ice Age Malta was a high mountain joined to Italy by land.
However when the Ice Age ended about 10,000 years ago the sea level rose and Malta became a group of islands.
One hundred years later, Blessed Alan de la Roche picked up where Dominic’s work had ended.
He divided the rosary into 10 “Hail Mary” decades preceded by the “Our Father.” In the 15th century, the mysteries of the rosary were assigned to each of the decades.
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A similar string of beads was used to keep track of this as well.