Marche

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Marche

(märsh), region and former province, central France, on the NW margin of the Massif CentralMassif Central
[Fr.,=central highlands], great mountainous plateau, c.33,000 sq mi (85,470 sq km), S central France, covering almost a sixth of the surface of the country.
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. It is coextensive with Creuse dept., much of the Haute-Vienne dept., and parts of Vienne, Indre, and Charente depts. GuéretGuéret
, town (1990 pop. 15,718), capital of Creuse dept., central France. It is a market center and an industrial town. Metals (especially aluminum), shirts, jewelry, and handicrafts are the principal manufactures. In the 13th cent.
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 is the chief town. Marche is primarily an agricultural region that also specializes in sheep raising. The wool is manufactured into carpets and tapestries at Felletin and Aubusson. The name of the region derived from its location as a northern border fief (march) of the duchy of AquitaineAquitaine
, Lat. Aquitania, former duchy and kingdom in SW France. Julius Caesar conquered the Aquitani, an Iberian people of SW Gaul, in 56 B.C. The province that he created occupied the territory between the Garonne River and the Pyrenees; under Roman rule it was
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. Marche passed (13th cent.) to the house of Lusignan but was seized (early 14th cent.) by Philip IV of France. Briefly united with the crown lands, it ultimately became an appanage of the house of Bourbon. It came definitively to France in 1531, following the confiscation (1527) of the lands of Constable Charles de Bourbon by Francis I.

Marche

(mär`kā) or

the Marches,

region (1991 pop. 1,429,205), 3,742 sq mi (9,692 sq km), E central Italy, extending from the eastern slopes of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea. AnconaAncona
, city (1991 pop. 101,285), capital of Ancona prov., chief city of Marche region, central Italy, on a promontory in the Adriatic Sea. It is a leading Adriatic naval and commercial port, handling freight and passenger traffic to Greece and Croatia for much of central
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 is the capital of the region, which is divided into the provinces of Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Macerata, and Pesaro e Urbino (named after their chief cities). The Marche is mostly hilly or mountainous, except for a narrow coastal strip, and is drained by the Metauro, Potenza, Tronto, and Nera rivers. Farming is the chief occupation; cereals, olives, grapes, vegetables, and tobacco are the main products, and livestock is raised. Industry has expanded in the 20th cent. with the construction of hydroelectric facilities. Manufactures include ships, textiles, chemicals, musical instruments, and pottery. Commercial and fishing ports are located at Ancona, Pesaro, Fano, and Senigallia. The Umbri and the Picentes (Greek colonists for whom part of the region was called Picenum) lived in the region when it was colonized (3d cent. B.C.) by Rome. After the fall of Rome the area was invaded by the Goths. In the 6th cent. the northern section, including four of the cities of the Pentapolis (Ancona, Fano, Pesaro, and Senigallia) and adjoining territories, came under Byzantine rule; the southern section became a part of the Lombard duchy of SpoletoSpoleto
, city (1991 pop. 37,763), Umbria, central Italy. It is a light industrial and tourist center. An Umbrian and later an Etruscan town, the city flourished after being taken (242 B.C.) by the Romans. It later became (c.A.D.
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. In the 8th cent. the region passed, as part of the donations of Pepin the Short (754) and Charlemagne (774), under the nominal rule of the papacy, but later emperors granted fiefs in the area until the 13th cent. The name Marche [boundaries] originated around the 10th cent., because the fiefs of Ancona, Fermo, and Camerino were established at the border of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite the strength of the popes and the emperors, who contested for control of the region, some cities established free communes or were governed by noble families (including the Malatesta, the Varano, and the Montefeltro). From the 13th to the 16th cent. the popes gradually established their rule in the Marche and ended local autonomy. The region was occupied by the French from 1797 to 1815, when it was restored to the papacy. The Marche was united with the kingdom of Sardinia in 1860.

Marche

a former province of central France