France. Sometimes it was called the Marche Limousine, and originally it was a small district cut partly from Limousin and partly from Poitou. Its area was increased during the 13th century, after which, however, it remained unaltered until the time of the Revolution. It was bounded on the N. by Berry; on the E. by Bourbonnais and Auvergne; on the S. by Limousin; and on the W. by Poitou. It embraced the greater part of the modern department of Creuse, a considerable part of Haute Vienne, and a fragment of Indre. Its area was about 1900 sq. m.; its capital was Charroux and later Guéret, and among its other principal towns were Dorat, Bellac and Confolens.
Marche first appears as a separate fief about the middle of the 10th century when William III., duke of Aquitaine, gave it to one of his vassals named Boso, who took the title of count. In the 12th century it passed to the counts of Limousin, and this house retained it until the death of the childless Count Hugh in 1303, when it was seized by the French king, Philip IV. In 1316 it was made a duchy for Prince Charles, afterwards King Charles IV., and a few years later (1327) it passed into the hands of the family of Bourbon. The family of Armagnac held it from 1435 to 1477, when it reverted to the Bourbons, and in 1527 it was seized by Francis I. and became part of the domains of the French crown. It was divided into Haute Marche and Basse Marche, the estates of the former being in existence until the 17th century. From 1470 until the Revolution the province was under the jurisdiction of the parlement of Paris.
See A. Thomas, Les États provinciaux de la France centrale (1879).
MARCHE, a town of Belgium in the province of Luxemburg, 33 m. S.W. of Liége and about 28 m. S.E. of Namur. Pop. (1904), 3540. It dates from the 7th century, when it was the chief town of the pagus falmiensis, as it still is of the same district now called Famène. Formerly it was fortified, and a treaty was signed there in 1577 between Philip II. and the United Provinces. In 1792 Lafayette was taken prisoner by the Austrians in a skirmish near it.
MARCHENA, a town of southern Spain, in the province of Seville, on the Cordova-Utrera and Marchena-La Roda railways. Pop. (1900), 12,468. Marchena occupies a sandy valley near the river Corbones, a left-hand territory of the Guadalquivir. Formerly it was surrounded with walls and towers, a large portion of which still remains. Among the principal buildings is the palace of the dukes of Arcos, within the enclosure of which is an ancient Moorish building, now the church of Santa Maria de la Mota. At the eastern end of the town is a sulphur spring. There is some trade in wheat, barley, olives, oil and wine. Marchena (perhaps the Castra Gemina of Pliny) was taken from the Moors by St Ferdinand in 1240.
MARCHENA RUIZ DE CASTRO, JOSÉ (1768–1821?), Spanish author, was born at Utrera on the 18th of November 1768 and studied with distinction at the university of Seville. He took minor orders and was for some time professor at the seminary of Vergara, but he became a convert to the doctrines of the French philosophes, scandalizing his acquaintances by his professions of materialism and his denunciations of celibacy. His writings being brought before the Inquisition in 1792, Marchena escaped to Paris, where he is said to have collaborated with Marat in L’Ami du peuple; at a later date he organized a revolutionary movement at Bayonne, returned to Paris, avowed his sympathies with the Girondists, and refused the advances of Robespierre. He acted as editor of L’Ami des lois and other French journals till 1799, when he was expelled from France; he succeeded, however, in obtaining employment under Moreau, upon whose fall in 1804 he declared himself a Bonapartist. In 1808 he accompanied Murat to Spain as private secretary; in this same year he was imprisoned by the Inquisition, but was released by Joseph Bonaparte, who appointed him editor of the official Gaceta. In 1813 Marchena retired to Valencia, and thence to France, where he supported himself by translating into Spanish the works of Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire and Volney. The Liberal triumph of 1820 opened Spain to him once more, but he was coldly received by the revolutionary party. He died at Madrid shortly before the 26th of February 1821. The interest of his voluminous writings is almost wholly ephemeral, but they are excellent specimens of trenchant journalism. His Fragmentum Petronii (Basel, 1802), which purports to reconstruct missing passages in the current text of Petronius, is a testimony to Marchena’s fine scholarship; but, by the irony of fate, Marchena is best known by his ode to Christ Crucified, which breathes a spirit of profound and tender piety.
MARCHES, THE (It. Le Marche), a territorial division of Italy, embracing the provinces of Pesaro and Urbino, Ancona, Macerata, and Ascoli Piceno, with an area of 3763 sq. m., and a population of 1,088,763 in 1901. It is bounded by the Emilia on the N., the Adriatic on the E., the Abruzzi on the S., and Umbria and Tuscany on the W. The four provinces follow one another in the order given from north to south and have a certain amount of coast-line. The chief rivers, all of which run into the Adriatic eastwards and north-eastwards, are the Metauro (anc. Metaurus, q.v.) and the Tronto (anc. Truentus), the latter forming the southern boundary of the compartimento for some distance. Except for the river valleys and the often very narrow coast strip, the general level is more than 500 ft. above the sea. The lower hills are very largely composed of loose, clayey, unstable earth, while the Apennines are of limestone. The province of Pesaro and Urbino falls within the boundaries of the ancient Umbria (q.v.), while the territory of the other three belonged to Picenum (q.v.). The railway from Bologna to Brindisi runs along the coast-line of the entire territory. At Ancona it is joined by the main line from Foligno and Rome; at Porto Civitanova is a branch to Macerata, San Severino and Fabriano (a station on the line from Ancona to Rome and the junction for Urbino); at Porto S. Giorgio is a branch to Fermo and, at Porto d’Ascoli, a branch to Ascoli Piceno. But, with the exception of the railway along the coast, there is no communication north and south, owing to the mountainous nature of the country, except by somewhat devious roads.
Owing largely to the mezzadria or métayer system, under which products are equally divided between the owners and the cultivators of the land, the soil is fairly highly cultivated, though naturally poor in quality. The silk industries, making of straw-plait and straw hats, rearing of silkworms and cocoons, with some sugar-refining, tobacco, terra-cotta manufacture, brickworks and ironworks, furnish the chief occupations of the people next after agriculture and pastoral pursuits. Another important branch of activity is the paper industry, especially at Fabriano. Chiaravalle possesses one of the largest tobacco factories of the Italian régie. Limestone quarries and sulphur mines supply building stone and sulphur to the regions of central Italy; chalk and petroleum are also found. As regards maritime trade the province possesses facilities in the port of Ancona (the only really good harbour, where are also important shipbuilding works), the canal ports of Senegallia (Sinigaglia), Pesaro, Fano and other smaller harbours chiefly used by fishing boats. Fishing is carried on by the entire coast population, which furnishes a large contingent of sailors to the Italian navy.
For the early history of the territory of the Marches see Picenum. From the Carolingian period onwards the name Marca begins to appear—first the Marca Fermana for the mountainous part of Picenum, the Marca Camerinese for the district farther north, including a part of Umbria, and the Marca Anconitana for the former Pentapolis. In 1080 the Marca Anconitana was given in investiture to Robert Guiscard by Gregory VII., to whom the countess Matilda ceded the Marches of Camerino and of Fermo. In 1105 we find the emperor Henry IV. investing Werner with the whole territory of the three marches under the name of March of Ancona. It was afterwards once more recovered by the Church and governed by papal legates. It became part of the kingdom of Italy in 1860.
The pictorial art of the Marches from the 13th century onwards has become the object of considerable interest since the important exhibition held at Macerata in 1905, when many interesting works, scattered all over the district in small towns and villages, were brought together. The result was something of a revelation,