SAXI:-3IEIN1N0 EN-III LDBURGHAUSEN, is a dnchy composed of the ancient dnchy of Meiulngen, the principalities of Hildburghauscn and Saalfeld, and some smaller districts, forming • compact territory, extending in a semicircle along the banks of the Werra, and skirted by the chain of the Thuringian Forest. It lies between 50' 13' and 60' 58' N. lat., 9' 57' and 11' 54' E. long., and has an area of 903 square miles: the population in January 1853 was 166,364. The duchy ls inclosed by the territories of Bavaria, Coburg, Reuss, Weimar, Schwarzburg, Electoral lime, Gotha, and Eisenach. Being situated between the Thuringian and Fichte! chains, the character of the sur face is mountainous : the loftiest points are the Bletzberg, 2760 feet high ; the Kleferlo, 2598 feet; the Gerberstein, 2184 feet ; and other mountains of nearly equal elevation. Their valleys supply rich pas turage to numerous flocks and herds; they also contain many curious caverns, of which the most remarkable are the Zinselloch, the Grie Mach, and the Altensteinerhohe.
The principal rivers are—the Werra, which, with many tributaries, traverses the whole duchy ; the Seale, Itz, Rodach, Milz, and Steinach ; the vales of some of these rivers are very picturesque. There are mineral springs near Liebenstein and Salznngen, and salt-springs near Friedrichehall and Neueulze. The productions are those of central Germany—grain of all kinds, fruit., vegetables, rapeseed, tobacco, timber, which is the staple of the country, game, fish, poultry, and honey. Among its mineral products are freestone and sandstone, slate, marble, porcelain and potter.'-clay, copper, lead, iron, salt, coals, pitch, alum, and basalt.
Agriculture is the most important branch of industry. Fruit is cultivated to a great extent ; cattle and sheep of the improved breeds are reared in all the districts ; there are also largo flocks of goats.
Them is considerable manufacturing industry, particularly In the highland' and in the principality of Saalfeld, where them ere many furnaces, works, mills, sod glasshouses. The ordinary manufactures are coarse linens, sailcloth, woollens, and cottons; there are also dis tilleries, breweries, and tan-yards. The exports are wood, sheep, horned cattle, tobacco, wool, leather, Sonnenburg toys, in which a large trade is carried on, woollens, glees, porcelain, and paints.
The University of Jena, being founded for the use of the states of the Ernestine line, Is open to Meiningen, which also posseasca several gymnasia and numerous school,.
The principal towns in the duchy are as follows :—.1fekingen, on the right bank of the river Werra, about 43 miles from Coburg, popula tion about 6500, Is the capital of the duchy, and contains the palace, In which are collections of art and natural history. The town has some fortifications, a house of sasembly for the duchy of Saxe-Mein ingen, gymnada, and a normal schooL Woollen- and linen-cloth are manufactured. Saalfeld, about 40 miles E. from Meiningen, popula tion 5000, stands in the midst of the Thuringian Forest. The town L walled, and possesses the ruins of an old castle. erected in the 8th century. A modern residence, formerly occupied by the dukes of the Saxe-Saalfeld family, stands outside the walls. II ildburghausen, population about 4200, the former residence of the dukes of Hild usen, possesses a gymnasium, a burgher school, a Jews school, an orphan asylum, and an asylum for lunatics. Cloth and papier maeha are manufactured. Parma, 11 miles E.N.E. from Saalfeld, population about 3800, has manufactures of woollen-cloth, leather, and porcelain. Sonseaberg, 12 miles N.E. from Coburg, has a popula tion of about 4000, who manufacture wooden wares, musical instru ments, and toys, which are exported to a large amount. In the vicinity is a quarry, from whieh slate-pencils are produced. Eafeld, on the river Werra, 8 miles E. from Hildburghauseu, population about 3000, possesses an ancient castle. The cotton manufacture is carried on.
The duchy of Saxe-3Ieiningen formerly constituted a part of the domains of the counts of Henneberg, and having passed marriage to the house of Saxony, it came, after various territorial divisions, into the possession of Ernest the Pious, duke of Gotha. Ernest's third son, Bernhard, became the fonnder of the line of Meiningen 'ea 1630. On the extinction of the house of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, in 1825, Meiningen received a considerable accession of territory, includ ing the principalities of Hildburghausen and Saalfeld. Hildburghausen was founded by Ernest, sixth son of Ernest the Pious, in whose family it continued till 1S26, when, by a family compact among the junior ducal houses, the reigning duke Frederick exchanged it for the duchy of Altenburg ; since this period it has merged into the duchy of Mein ingen, with the exception of a few districts which were ceded to Coburg.