Thuringia (Ger. Thuringen), a central region of Germany, between the Hartz mountains on the north and the Thuringian Forest on the south, the river Saale on the east and the Werra on the west, the principal parts belonging to the Prussian province of Saxony, to Saxe-Co-burg-Gotha, Weimar-Eisenach, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. The Thuringians were allies of Attila in the middle of the 5th century. Their country was afterward subdued by the Franks and Saxons. The Franks ruled it for some centuries through dukes and margraves. Under the Saxon emperors several Thuringian counts or landgraves obtained a kind of semi-independence. Louis the Jumper, son of Louis the Bearded, warred against the emperor Henry IV. in the latter part of the 11th century, and several of his successors added to the possessions of the house. One of them, Hermann (1190-1216), is chiefly known as a patron of minnesingers. A long war of Thuringian succession was waged about the middle of the 13th century, the termination of which left the principal parts of the country in the possession of the margrave Henry of Meissen. Thuringia was now ruled by the Saxon house of Wettin, until, after various changes, the Saxon dominions were divided in 1485 between Ernest and Albert, the sons of Frederick the Mild, when Thuringia fell to the Ernestine line. (See Saxony.) - The Thuringian Forest (Ger. Thuringerwald), which bounds it S. W. and S., is a narrow and wooded mountain range, rising in some parts upward of 3,000 ft.,, and extending nearly 70 m., not including numerous northern offshoots toward the Hartz. In the southeast it approaches the Fichtelgebirge, and in the southwest the Rhon, from which it is separated by the valley of the Upper Werra. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in mining, grazing, and manufactures.
The territory covered or traversed by the Thuringian Forest is included in the Prussian province of Saxony, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Meiningen-Hildburghausen, Saxe-Coburg-Go-tha, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, Altenburg, and the Reuss principalities, all of which territories are called Thuringian in the wider sense.