Majorca (Span. Mallorea), the largest of the Balearic islands, in the Mediterranean, belonging to Spain, about 120 m. S. S. E. of Barcelona, between lat. 39° 15' and 40° N., and Ion. 2 20' and 3° 30' E.; length from E. to W. nearly 64 m., breadth in some parts 40 m.; area, about 1,300 sq. m.; pop. about 230,000. on the N. E. coast are the large bays of Puertfayor and Puerto Menor, and on the S. E. that of Palma; and there are several good natural harbors. The northern half of the island is covered by mountains, the highest of which is upward of 5,000 ft. above the sea. The southern half is comparatively level. The rocks are generally of secondary or tertiary formation. There are rive or six small rivers, and the hills and plains generally are well supplied with small streams, though in some of the plains the want of water makes cultivation difficult. The principal river, the Riera, rises at the foot of Mount Puigpunente and falls into the sea at Palma. The climate is temperate, the thermometer in summer ranging only from 84 to 88°, while that of winter seldom falls below 48°. The island produces marbles of great beauty and variety, 36 different specimens of which were exhibited at Vienna in i, and also slate, granite, syenite, porphyry, and some coal and iron.
Lavender, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, saffron, marsh mallow, jon-quil, and wild celery are the commonest vegetable productions. The island affords abundant pasturage for large numbers of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats, and swine. The sheep are large, and produce great quantities of fine wool. Game of the smaller kind, such as hares, rabbits quails, and partridges, is very plentiful; and the preserving of thrushes as well as of fish is an important industry. There are scarcely any venomous animals. The soil is exceedingly fertile, but the agricultural skill of the islanders is imperfect. Wheat, barley, oats, hemp, flax, and silk are produced in con-Biderahle abundance, and the fruits include oranges, lemons, citrons, dates, tigs, and pomegranates. The olive crop yields vearly 650,- 000 gallons of oil. The people manufacture a considerable quantity of woollen stuffs, not only for their own use, but for export to Spain, Malta, Sardinia, and America. Other important manufactures are hats and fine cabinet ware.
New factories have recently been constructed for the production on a large scale of canvas, rope, and cordage, fibre for which is now imported from Manila; the Spanish navy was lately supplied entirely with rope made at 1 alma. 1 he inland, which in earlier days gave its name to majolica ware, now only produces very common pottery. The wines are excellent, and are largely exported, as are also brandy, oil, tigs, und oranges. The total value of the exports in 1873, including the coasting trade, was $6,076,339. The principal towns are Palma, Soller, Manacor, Alcudia, Porreras, and Inca. Palma is the capital, the seat of a bishop and of the captaincy general of the Balearic islands. A railway to connect it with Inca and Alcudia is in progress. The natives resemble the Catalans in their appearance and manners, are remarkably honest and hospitable, and make excellent soldiers. The upper classes speak Castilian, but the lower orders use a dialect which is a mixture of Greek, Latin, Vandal, Arabic, Catalonian, and Languedo-cian words, representing the various races by which the island has been occupied. - Little is known of the early history of Majorca. There were Carthaginian settlements in it prior to 500 B. C. The Roman Q. Metellus conquered it A. D. 123, and the Vandals in 426. The Moors seized it in 798, and held it till 1229, when it was taken by James I. of Aragon, who erected it into a kingdom (including the other Balearic islands, the county of Montpellier, Roussillon, and Cerdagne) in favor of his son Don James, in 1202. It was finally annexed to Aragon in 1343. The island declared for Charles III. in the war of the Spanish succession; it rebelled against Philip V. in 1714, but submitted in July, 1715. It was thrice visited by epidemics - in 1865, 1870, and 1873 - attended with frightful mortality. (See Balearic Islands).