Online Encyclopedia

AMALFI

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 778 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AMALFI, a town and archiepiscopal see of Campania, Italy, in the province of Salerno, from the town of which name it is distant 12 M. W.S.W. by road, on the N. coast of the Gulf of Salerno. Pop. (1901) 668,. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, in a sheltered situation, at the foot of Monte Cerreto (4314 ft.), in the centre of splendid coast scenery, and is in consequence much visited by foreigners. The cathedral of S. Andrea is a structure in the Lombard-Norman style, of the rrth century; the facade in black and white stone was well restored in 1891; the bronze doors were executed at Constantinople before ,o66. The campanile dates from 1276. The interior is also fine, and contains ancient columns and sarcophagi. The conspicuous Capuchin monastery on the W. with fine ' cloisters (partly destroyed by a landslip in 1899) is now used as an hotel. Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6thcentury,and soon acquired importance as a naval power; in the 9th century it shared with Venice and Gaeta the Italian trade with the East, and in 848 its fleet went to the assistance of Pope Leo IV. against the Saracens. It was then an independent republic with a population of some 70,000, but in 1131 it was reduced by King Roger of Sicily. In 1135 and 1137 it• was taken by the Pisans, and rapidly declined in importance, though its maritime code, known as the Tavole Amalfitane, was recognized in the Mediterranean until 157o. In 1343 a large part of the town was destroyed by an inundation, and its harbour is now of little importance. Its industries too, have largely disappeared, and the paper manufacture has lost ground since 1861.
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