Istria (anc. Histria), a peninsula and mar-graviate of Austria, on the N. E. coast of the Adriatic; area, including the Quarnero islands, 1,907 sq. m.; pop. about 255,000. It now forms, conjointly with the circle of Gorz and the city of Trieste, the Littoral province, but has its own diet. Nearly all the inhabitants are Roman Catholics. It is in general mountainous, particularly toward the north, where the surface is occupied by offsets of the Julian Alps. The highest elevation is Monte Mag-giore, about 4,500 ft. The coasts are irregular and indented by numerous good harbors. The soil is not remarkably fertile, but excellent olives, and grain, wine, lemons, and silk, are produced. Sheep and cattle are extensively reared in the mountainous districts, and the coast fisheries and salt works employ a considerable number of the inhabitants. The chief towns are Capo d'Istria, Pirano, Isola, Ro-vigno, Pola, Dignano, and Pisino. The people of the towns are mostly Italians, and those of the rural districts of Slavic origin. - In remote antiquity the Istrians were an Illyrian tribe, and were engaged in piratical enterprises, but prior to the second Punic war were reduced to submission by Roman consuls.
They were again reduced by the consul Claudius Marcel-lus (183 B. C.) and the consul C. Claudius Pulcher (177 B. C), and did not again revolt. Under Augustus Istria was incorporated with upper Italy. The most flourishing period of its ancient history was while the Roman government was fixed at Ravenna. It formed a separate margraviate in the 10th century, and was subject successively to the dukes of Ca-rinthia and of Dalmatia. The Italian part of Istria was held by the Venetians from the 13th century till 1797, the eastern part being incorporated with Carinthia and subject to the house of Austria. Both portions were ceded to Napoleon I., and reconquered by Austria in 1813.