/mahrdd"ke/, n.Le, Italian name of The Marches.
* * *IHistoric region, central France.Once part of Limousin, it was made a separate frontier countship (march) in the 10th century. During the 12th and 13th centuries it was divided into western and eastern halves. It was held by the Bourbons (1342–1435) and by the Armagnacs (1435–77). Confiscated by Francis I in 1527, it was granted to the widows of French kings (1574–1643). It was a province of France until the French Revolution.IIRegion (pop., 2001 prelim.: 1,463,868), central Italy.It covers an area of 3,743 sq mi (9,693 sq km) and is situated between the Adriatic Sea and the region of Umbria and crossed by the Apennines; its only level land is along its river valleys and on the Adriatic shore near Ancona, its capital. Originally inhabited by Gauls and Picenes, it came under Roman rule by AD 292. During the early Middle Ages the southern part was ruled by the Lombards and the northern part by the Byzantines. Conflicts arose in 12th and 13th centuries with powerful feudal families and the attempt of the popes to reestablish their temporal authority; this culminated in 1631, when the duchy of Urbino was incorporated into the Papal States. Marche joined the Kingdom of Italy in 1860. An agricultural area, it has some industrial development.
* * *▪ historical province, FranceFrench province before the Revolution of 1789 corresponding roughly to the modern département of Creuse, with a small fragment of Indre and much of northern Haute-Vienne.In ancient times the country was part of Limousin, from which it was detached in the middle of the 10th century to form a separate frontier countship (march) to protect Poitou and the rest of the duchy of Aquitaine against invasion from the north. During the 12th and 13th centuries, a chain of fiefs depending directly on Poitiers, interspersed with ecclesiastical lordships, grew up to cut the countship practically into western and eastern halves, basse Marche and haute Marche. Held by a junior line of the Bourbons from 1342 to 1435 and by a junior line of the Armagnacs from 1435 to 1477, the countship later went to Pierre II, duc de Bourbon (sire de Beaujeu), and then to the constable Charles, duc de Bourbon. Confiscated by Francis I of France in 1527, it was granted successively to the widows of French kings from 1574 to 1643. From the late 17th century until the end of the ancien régime, the title was borne by the sons of the princes de Conti.Administratively, basse Marche was from 1586 under the intendant of Limoges, and haute Marche was under the intendant of Moulins (Bourbonnais); judicially, the whole province depended on the Parlement of Paris.English The Marchesregion in central Italy fronting on the Adriatic Sea and comprising the provinces of Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata, and Pesaro e Urbino. A region of mountains and hills, its only pieces of level land are scattered along river valleys and on the Adriatic shore northwest of Ancona. Its mountain backbone is the Umbrian-Marchigian section of the Apennines, rising to 8,130 feet (2,478 m) at Monte Vettore. The administrative boundary between Marche and neighbouring Umbria, on the west, is the watershed between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic slopes.Except for the northernmost part, the hills of Montefeltro, Marche is crossed by numerous rivers running from the Apennines east to the Adriatic; the most important are the Metauro, Foglia, Esino, Potenza, Chienti, and Tronto. In their upper sections these streams flow through narrow valleys and some deep gorges. In their lower sections they widen, and the valley floors are intensively cultivated, most of the lower slopes either in meadows or in well-tended fields.The region, originally inhabited by the Gauls and the Picenes, was early incorporated into the domain of Rome and became a single administrative unit as early as AD 292. During the early Middle Ages the southern part was ruled by the Lombards; the northern section, the Maritime Pentapolis (Rimini, Pesaro, Fano, Senigallia, and Ancona) on the Adriatic coast, was controlled by the Byzantine exarchate of Ravenna. The modern name appeared during the 10th century when the region was divided into the imperial marches (border provinces) of Ancona, Camerino, and Fermo; shortly afterward numerous communes constituted themselves into independent units. With the emergence in the 12th and 13th centuries of such powerful feudal families as the Montefeltro of Urbino and the Malatesta of Pesaro (and Rimini), turbulent times set in—aggravated by the desire of the popes to reestablish their temporal authority, nominal in the area since the 8th century. This process, begun in the 14th century, was completed with the incorporation of the duchy of Urbino into the Papal States in 1631. Marche became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.The economy of Marche is primarily agricultural. Its principal products are wheat, corn (maize), fodder, olives, and wine. Livestock raising is extensive, and fishing is important in several of the Adriatic ports, particularly San Benedetto del Tronto and Ancona (q.v.), the capital and principal port. Industrial development is slight and includes shipbuilding at Ancona, paper at Fabriano, textiles at Iesi, musical instruments at Castelfidardo, and pottery at Pesaro and Recanati. The main artery of northwest–southeast traffic is the coastal railroad from Bologna to Foggia and Bari; also, a direct rail line runs from Ancona to Rome. Area 3,743 square miles (9,693 square km). Pop. (2006 est.) mun., 1,528,809.
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