SAN-MARINO, or SAMMARINO, is a small republic in Italy, consisting chiefly of a steep mountain with its offsets and valleys, covering an area of about 21 square miles. It is situated within the papal province of Urbino, and about 10 miles from the Adriatic. The population amounts to about 7600. The town of San Marino stands on the upper part of the mountain, the summit of which is crowned by an old castle with three towers, on which the standard of the republic waves. The town is ill built and ill paved ; the streets are steep, and only practicable for mules and donkeys. The square before the town-house is largo, and commands a fine view of the neighbouring Apennines. The church of the Capuchins contains a fine painting representing the Descent from the Cross. Outside of the town is 11 Borgo, a suburb. The other towns, or rather villages, which give names to communes are—Serravallo, Montegiardino, and Faetano. The inhabitants have cultivated every slip of ground that can bo made productive ; they make some very good wine, some oil, and rear silk worms, the produce of which constitutes an article of trade. They have also some good cattle. They import corn from the neighbouring Papal State.
liarinum, a holy hermit from Dalmatia, is said to have retired to this mountain in the 4th century ; after his death a church was raised to his memory, and a village grew up round the spot. In tho 10th century it became a walled town by the name of Plebs Santi Marini cum Castello.' It seems to have governed itself as an independent municipality. Daring tho wars of the Guelphs and Ohibelines, the people of San Marino took the part of the latter. About the year
1291, the commune of San. Marino being summoned to pay certain doss to the Pope's vicar, refused ; and the matter being referred to a learned jndge of Rimini called Palamede, he decided that the commu nity and men of San Marino were exempt from payment, having been of old independent of all foreign dominion. From that time San Marino has been acknowledged as an independent state by the popes.
When Napoleon I. overthrew the papal government he respected the independence of San Marino; and in 1814, when the Popo was rein stated in his dominions, the freedom of the republic was confirmed. The legislative power is In the hands of a great council, formerly com posed of 300 anziani, or elders, but now of 60 members—nobles, townsmen, and small proprietors in equal number; named for life by the council itselE A committee or council of 12 is appointed from among the members of the great council, 8 for the town and 4 for the country parts. The great council also appoints two Capitani lteggenti, or regents, who are the chief magistrates of the republic, and hold office for six months each. Formerly the chief representative of the republie was styled a Gonfaloniero, and changed every three months.
There are secretaries of state for the interior, for foreign affairs, and for the finances. The administration of justice is lodged in the hands of a lawyer not a native of the state, who is elected for three years ; after the expiration of which term he may be re-elected once more for the same period.