Calabria, the southern-part of Italy, extending from the province of Potenza (Basili-cata) to the strait of Messina, between lat. 37° 53' and 40° 8' N., and Ion. 15° 40' and 17° 10' E.; area, 6,663 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 1,306,104. It is divided into the provinces of Cosenza (Calabria Citeriore), Reggio (Calabria Ulteriore), and Catanzaro (Calabria Ulteriore II.). The Apennines run southward through Calabria, with numerous spurs stretching toward both seas, and covering a great part of the country. A branch extending 35 m. in length from W. to E., and 25 m. in breadth from N. to S., forms the Silese mountains in the central and widest part of Calabria; and further S. the Aspromonte range fills nearly the whole width of the S. part of the province of Reggio. The highest peak of the Calabrian Apennines is Monte Pollino, about 7,500 ft., with which the chain begins near the borders of Potenza. The mountain streams, which are numerous, discharge into both seas; the larger rivers are the Sinno, Crati, and Neto in northern and central Calabria, and there are many small lakes near the E. coast. Between the mountain masses and their spurs are some extensive valleys, generally on the banks of the larger rivers and terminating in plains near the coast.
Among these the largest and most fertile are the valleys of Cosenza and Monteleone and the plain of Gioja. The principal products of Calabria are corn, rice, olive oil, licorice, oranges, lemons, honey, silk, sugar, saffron, flax, cotton, tobacco, medicinal plants, and dyes. The sides of the mountains are covered with oak, elm, cedar, chestnut, cypress, olive, fir, and pine trees. There are veins of gold, silver, copper, marble, and alabaster, and abundant deposits of pure rock salt and sulphur. Calabria has a fine breed of horses, and sheep, cattle, and swine are abundant. Bees are very numerous, and silkworms are extensively raised; but the silk, though of a good quality, is of a dark color, as the worms are fed on the red mulberry. Considerable silk is manufactured in the province of Catanzaro. In the southeast there are iron furnaces supplied with ore from the mines of Lo Stilo, just within the boundaries of Reggio. The fisheries afford employment to many of the inhabitants of the towns on the coast, and immense quantities of anchovy, mullet, tunny, and sword fish are taken. The Calabriaris are hardy and brave, but are irritable and passionate. The robberies and murders for which Calabria was formerly distinguished have much diminished within a few years.
The dialect of the people is similar to that of Sicily. The country is subject to violent storms and earthquakes. The earthquake of 1783 destroyed more than 40,000 Cala-brians and Sicilians, and a shock on Oct. 6, 1870, swallowed up several villages. - In ancient times Calabria formed the territory of Bruttium and the southern part of Lucania. (See Beuttium and Lucania.) In the middle ages it formed a part of the kingdom of the Ostrogoths under Theodoric, A. D. 493, and in 536 was conquered for the Eastern empire by Belisarius. It subsequently fell into the hands of the Saracens, from whom it was wrested in 1058 by Robert Guiscard, who took the title of duke of Apulia and Calabria. Under his descendants it became a part of the kingdom of Naples, and so remained until the consolidation of the kingdom of Italy in 1800. - For ancient Calabria (now Terra d'Otranto) see Apulia, and Messapia.