Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/San Marino

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An independent republic lying between the Italian Provinces of Forli, Pasaro, and Urbino, having an area of 38 sq. miles and a population of 10,000. Its chief resources are agriculture and the growing of vines. The government is carried on by two consuls or captains-regent, elected for six months from the members of the General Council, composed of sixty members elected for life from the nobles, the burgesses, and the rural landowners, in equal numbers. The council has legislative powers; from its members is selected the Council of Twelve, which is the supreme court. The Kingdom of Italy, by the Acts of 22 March, 1862, recognized the independence of the republic, and has retained friendly relations with it, the Sanmarinese currently being accepted in the kingdom. The territory extends over seven hills, on the highest of which, Il Titano, the city of San Marino is built. There are nine communes, including the capital, and as many more parishes, some of which belong to the Diocese of Montefeltro, and the others to Rimini. The Palace of the Supreme Council, containing paintings by Guido Reni, is worthy of notice.

According to the legend, St. Marinus, a stonecutter, came to the mountain about A.D. 350 to ply his trade and spread the truths of Christianity. Monte Titano belonged to Felicissima, a Riminese lady, who at her death bequeathed it to the mountaineers, recommending them to remain always united. San Marino, however, in the Lombard age, belonged to the Duchy of Spoleto; in the tenth century the abbots of the monastery were under the civil government, but they soon freed themselves and formed a free commune. The Holy See recognized the independence of San Marino in 1291. In quick succession the lords of Montefeltro, the Malatesta of Rimini, and the lords of Urbino attempted to conquer the little town, but without success. When the inhabitants aided Pius II against Sigismondo Malatesta, the pope granted the republic some castles. In 1503, but only for a few months, it formed part of the possessions of Cesar Borgia. In the same century some feudatory lords attempted its liberty; the last effort being made by Cardinal Giulio Alberoni, legate of Ravenna, who in 1739, aiding certain rebels, contrary to the orders of Clement XII, invaded the republic, imposed a new constitution, and endeavored to force the Sanmarinese to submit to the Government of the Pontifical States. Twice in the nineteenth century (1825 and 1853) similar attempts were made. The celebrated archaeologist Bartolomeo Borghesi was a native of San Marino.

U. BENIGNI