AUSTRASIA, as-tra'shla (the East King dom), the name given, under the Merovingians, to the eastern possessions of the Franks, em bracing Lorraine, Belgium and the right bank of the Rhine. These districts, thickly inhabited by. Franks, were of great importance at the time of the rise of the Frankish power.
(Oesterreich-Un garn), officially designated THE AUSTRO-HUN GARIAN MONARCHY, an empire of central Europe, consisting of two semi-independent countries, each according to the Ausgleich or Compromise of 1867 having its own Constitu tion, a limited monarchy and separate Parlia ment, but each united in the conduct of foreign affairs and in the establishment of a common army and navy under one ruler: Apostolic Majesty the Emperor of Austria and the King of Hungary." Area and The Austrian empire extends from about lat. 42° to 51° N., and from long. 8° 30' to 26° 30' E.; the total area in round numbers is 240,000 square miles. Its greatest length from cast to west is about 860 miles; its greatest breadth about 400 miles. It is bounded south by Montenegro, Serbia, Ru mania, the Adriatic Sea and the kingdom of Italy; west by Switzerland, Bavaria and Saxony; north by Prussia and Russian Poland; and cast by Russia and Rumania. On the shores of the Adriatic, along the coasts of Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, etc., lies its only sea frontage, which, compared to the size of the monarchy, is of insignificant extent. Besides being divided into the two great divisions above mentioned, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy is further divided into a number of governments or provinces. The following table exhibits the name and area of these governments, with their population in 1900 and 1910: Natural Features.— Although presenting every variety of surface the prevailing character of the Austrian dominions is mountainous, there being few districts where mountains are not found; while the plains do not occupy more than a fifth part of the whole superficies. The loftiest ranges, and the most extensively rami fied, are found in Tyrol, Styria, Illyria and the southern parts of Austria proper. In some of these regions the scenery is bold and romantic, and has been considered equal to that of Switzerland. The most extensive tracts of low or flat land occur in Slavonia and the southeast and central parts of Hungary; much of this level land is remarkably fertile, but it is met at various points by vast morasses and arid steppes. The principal valleys are found in Tyrol, Salzburg, Styria and Illyria. Extensive plains stretch along the courses of the rivers, particularly the Danube, the Theiss and the March.. The principal rivers of Austria are the Danube, the Elbe, the Save, the Drave, the Waag, the March, the Inn, the Teiss or Theiss and the Maros. The Danube for up ward of 800 miles is navigable for quite large vessels throughout the whole Austrian terri tory; while all the others, most of them tribu tanes of the Danube, are navigable for vessels of smaller size. All the rivers abound in fish.
The lakes are numerous and often picturesque, although those in the lowlands, particularly in the plains of Hungary, are rather marshes than lakes. Austria lies between the isotherms of 60° and 50°, and has a climate nearly as various as its surface. The northern regions, between the 49th and 51st degrees of north latitude, have an average temperature resembling that of the north of France. Between lat. 46° and 49° the heat is considerable; and between 42° and 46°, which comprises the whole of south Austria, it is still greater; the winter lasting two or three months only, and being, in general, extremely mild. The principal products of the north are wheat, barley, oats and rye which are so plentiful that the greater part of them is exported abroad; in the centre, vines and maize are added; and in the south, olives. The productive capabilities of the soil have under gone considerable development in recent dec ades. The wines of Austria are inferior on the whole, with exception of a few choice kinds, including the well-known Tokay. A great por tion of the worst wine is made into brandy. The produce of wine annually has reached over 240,000,000 gallons, of which Hungary yields by far the largest proportion. The forests cover 69,000 square miles, or one-third of the productive soil of the empire, and yield timber of excellent quality, adapted for all purposes. Wild deer, wild swine, chamois, foxes,_lynxes and a species of small black bear, are found in many districts, the fox and lynx being particu larly abundant. Herds of a native breed of horses, of small size, roam wild over the plains of Hungary. All the domestic animals of Eng land are known throughout the empire. A large portion of the countries now composing the Austrian empire was at one time submerged by the sea, particularly Hungary, where the gen eral appearance of its vast plains, the nature of their soil, and, above all, the occurrence of fossil sea shells, leave no room to doubt the former dominion of the ocean. Throughout all Austria the Tertiary formation prevails, with a margin of the Secondary formation, stretching to a greater or lesser extent into the countries, and diversified by patches of igneous rocks of the Tertiary and Alluvial epochs. In mineral productions Austria is very rich, possessing, with the excep tion of platinum, all the metals, particularly gold, silver, iron, copper, lead, zinc, quicksilver, coal and salt. The total annual value of the mineral products of the Austrian empire is estimated at upward of $74,288,500; of which $34,466,883 represents coal; $29,894,429 lignite.