Dalmatia, a crownland with the title of kingdom in the Cisleithan half of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, forming a narrow coast strip along the E. shore of the Adriatic, W. of the Dinaric Alps, which form its frontier toward Turkey, and embracing a large number of islands, mostly close to the coast. It lies between lat. 42° 10' and 44° 55' N., and lon. 14° 30' and 19° E., and is the southernmost province of Austria; area, 4,940 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 449,253, of whom 87 per cent, are Slavs, and about 13 per cent. Italians. Capital, Zara. The Roman Catholic religion is predominant; the non-united Greek church numbered in 1869 78,305. The formation of the frontier mountain chain (rising to a height of 6,000 ft.), which has a picturesque and rugged outline, is of limestone with many mammoth caves, not perfectly explored, and subterranean lakes and rivers; but the surface is dry and bare, the rivers and lakes drying up during the summer, and leaving the inhabitants nothing to drink but cistern or marsh water. The slope is sudden, the rivers descending in cataracts; the few fertile valleys are narrow.
The coast consists of bold promontories with deeply indented bays, before which a series of long and narrow rocky islands stretch in a S. E. direction nearly parallel to the mountains, forming a great number of excellent harbors. The largest of these islands, from N. to S., are Pago, Grossa or Lunga, Brazza, Lesina, Curzola, and Meleda. The climate is mild along the coast, the average temperature being 59° F. at Ragusa, and not severe on the mountains, ice and snow being almost unknown; rains prevail when the oora, a northerly winter storm, blows, but the average annual fall is only 12 inches at Cattaro and Ragusa, and further north somewhat more. In spite of this, the climate is not very healthy, owing to the swamps along the coast range of mountains. The country might support a far larger population but for the frequent emigrations, and the quarrelsome and indolent habits of the people. Husbandry and the rearing of cattle are neglected, and Dalmatia is less productive than any other dependency of Austria. Ship building is carried On to some extent, from 300 to 400 vessels being built annually, but more than 90 per cent, of them are only small boats for fishing and the coast trade.
The aggregate value of imports and exports, inclusive of the transit trade, is estimated at 16,000,000 florins, of which 33 per cent, belongs to the imports by sea, 81/2 per cent. to the imports by land, 27 1/2 per cent. to the exports by sea, 9 per cent, to the exports by land, and 22 per cent, to the transit trade. In 1872 there was no railroad in all Dalmatia. The principal agricultural products are corn, rye, barley, figs, olives, and grapes; but sufficient grain is not produced for the wants of the country, the deficiency being supplied from Hungary and Turkey. Of fruits there are plums, pears, almonds, apples, oranges, lemons, pomegranates, peaches, and apricots. Strong wines are made, but most of them are too sweet, owing to the grapes being left too long on the vines. The country is not rich in metals, although in ancient times it produced gold. Iron and coal mines are wrought, the latter in the district of Dernis, but the coal is of an inferior quality. The manufactures are insignificant, consisting chiefly of a kind of rough cloth, cotton and woollen stuffs, ropes, twine, leather, and felt. The soil is well suited to the growth of the mulberry, but little silk is produced. Spirits and liquors are distilled, of which maraschino is the most celebrated.
Physically the Dalmatians are a fine race, tall, of regular features and dark complexion, and make excellent soldiers, particularly the Morlaks, who live in the interior. They are also daring sailors, and constituted the strength of Venice in the middle ages. The violent storms and the perilous navigation in the Dalmatian archipelago develop their vigor and skill. They love liberty and independence, and have almost always successfully withstood the aggressions of the Turks. The language of the Slavic inhabitants is a dialect of the lllyrico-Servian, which differs but slightly from those spoken by their neighbors in Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro. Education is much neglected. Only 28 per cent. of the children of school age attend school. Dalmatia was formerly divided into the four districts of Zara, Spalato, Ragusa, and Cattaro; at present (1873) into 12 districts, exclusive of the city of Zara. The Dalmatian diet consists of the president of the diet, the Catholic archbishop, one Greek oriental bishop, and 27 deputies.
The Turkish portion of the ancient domain of Dalmatia forms the present province of Herzegovina. - The Romans subjugated Dalmatia, after a struggle of nearly 100 years, under Augustus; and under Diocletian it was one of the most flourishing portions of the empire, he having his residence at Spalato, then a small place near the capital, Salona. In the division of the Roman empire, it was allotted to the eastern half, forming a district of Illyri-cum. The Slavic race (Slavonians, Croats, and Serbs) took possession of it about 600, when the great Germanic migration had scarcely left a trace of the ancient inhabitants. The N. portion of the country was conquered by the Hungarians in the 11th century, and the southern (Herzegovina) surrendered itself to the protection of Venice, which however could not prevent Dalmatia from being conquered in the 16th century by the Turks, who restored most of it to the republic only after long struggles, by the peace of Passarowitz (1718). By the treaty of Campo Formio (1797) Austria came into possession of the Venetian portion, and has since ruled Dalmatia with the excep-. tion of the period 1805-13, when it was under the sway of Napoleon, who strove to develop its resources for a navy, and who conferred the title of duke of Dalmatia upon Soult. Austria has begun to increase its commercial prosperity; she has established a naval academy at Spalato, and tried to deepen several harbors and encourage ship building.
In October, 1869, a serious insurrection broke out in Dalmatia. The rural inhabitants of the district of Cattaro had resisted the execution of the military law, and formed a large band of armed men, and it was reported that they received heavy reinforcements from Montenegro and Herzegovina. For several weeks they successfully kept the Austrian army at bay, but finally were totally defeated at the battle of Lisio, and submitted in December.