1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maremma

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MAREMMA (a corruption of Marittima, “situated on the sea”), a marshy region of Tuscany, Italy, extending from the mouth of the Cecina to Orbetello and varying in breadth from 15 to 20 m. In Etruscan and Roman times the Maremma was a populous and fertile coast plain, with considerable towns situated on the hills—Populonia, Russellae, Cosa, &c., and was drained by a complete system of subterranean canals which were brought to light by the excavations made in connexion with the railways passing throught the district. But the decline of agriculture at the end of the Republic led to a conversion of the land to pasture, and later the unsettled state of affairs consequent on the fall of the Roman Empire resulted in neglect of the watercourses. Leopold II. of Tuscany (1822–1844) made the first successful efforts to counteract the malaria which has affected the district, by drainage, the filling up of swamps, and the establishment of new farms, and since his time continuous efforts have been made with considerable success.