Tuscany (It. Toscatia), a division of central Italy, bordering on the Mediterranean, and including the provinces of Arezzo, Florence, Grosseto, Leghorn with the island of Elba, Lucca, Massa e Carrara, Pisa, and Siena; area, 9,287 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 2,142,525. It is divided from Piacenza, Parma, and Reggio by the Ligurian Apennines, and from Modena and the Romagna by the Tuscan Apennines, beginning with Monte Cimone and extending S. E. about 80 m. (See Apennines.) The principal rivers, besides the Tiber, the head waters of which are in the province of Arezzo, are the Arno, Cecina, and Ombrone, all flowing into the Mediterranean. The coast from the mouth of the Arno to the border of Latium is occasionally bold, but generally low and swampy, and on the south are several bays. The climate is severe in the mountains, but in the valleys vegetation is hardly interrupted; and excepting in the marshy regions, which in autumn are deserted (see Maeemme), the country is very salubrious. Grain, wine, silk, olives and olive oil, and cheese are produced in great abundance; sheep and pigs and large asses abound; woollen and silk goods and many other articles are made. The purest Italian is spoken in Tuscany, and education is advanced.
The principal seaport is Leghorn. Capital, Florence. - The ancient Etruria or Tuscia comprised the present division of Tuscany and adjoining territories to the east and southeast. (See Etbueia.) After the fall of the Roman empire it passed from the Goths to the Lombards, and Charlemagne governed it through local counts or marquises, who continued to rule, under the Carlovingians or the German emperors, and occasionally almost independently, till the latter part of the 12th century. The most celebrated of these Tuscan rulers was the countess Matilda (died 1115), who figured so conspicuously on the papal side in the struggle of Gregory VII. and his successors against the emperor Henry IV., and whose sway extended beyond the limits of Tuscany. She bequeathed her dominions to the papal see, but this bequest was disregarded by the emperors, of whom Frederick I. finally acquired Tuscany by purchase from the last marquis. Pope Innocent III. subsequently renewed the claims of Rome to the heritage of Matilda, and Tuscany, distracted by Guelph and Ghibelline feuds, was split up into numerous states, among which the republics of Florence, Pisa, Siena, and Lucca, which had long been rising into power, became the most important.
After a bitter contest with Pisa and other cities, the republic of Florence became the ruling power. (See Florence, and Medici.) Despite civil and foreign wars, the republic flourished and became celebrated in letters and art, especially under Cosmo and Lorenzo de1 Medici. In 1532 Alessandro de' Medici was made duke by Pope Clement VII., with the assistance of the emperor of Germany and the king of France. After his assassination in 1537, Cosmo the Great was first appointed chief of the republic, and then assumed the title of grand duke of Tuscany (1569). His line becoming extinct in 1737, Francis, duke of Lorraine, consort of Maria Theresa of Austria, became by treaty grand duke of Tuscany as Francis II., and was subsequently elected emperor of Germany as Francis I. After his death the grand duchy was ruled by Leopold I. (afterward the emperor Leopold II.) and his son Ferdinand III. In 1799 it was invaded by the French. Napoleon created in 1801 the kingdom of Etruria, which he gave to Louis, crown prince of Parma, whose wife, Maria Louisa of Spain, succeeded him as regent.
In 1808 Napoleon made his sister Elisa Bacciochi grand duchess of Tuscany. In 1814 it was occupied by the allies on behalf of Ferdinand III., who was restored in 1815, Elba and other territories being added to his dominions; and Lucca, comprised in the possessions of Napoleon's widow Maria Louisa, grand duchess of Parma, reverted to Tuscany in 1847. The grand duke Leopold II., son of Ferdinand III., was compelled to abdicate in 1859; his son and nominal successor, Ferdinand IV., was dispossessed in 1860 by Victor Emanuel, and Tuscany became part of the kingdom of Italy. (See Italy.) - See Storia civile delta Toscana dal 1738 al 1848, by Zobi (5 vols., Florence, 1853); "Tuscany in 1849 and 1859," by Mrs. Trollope (London, 1859); and La 2'oscane au moyen age, by G. R. de Fleury (Paris, 1870).