Amalfi, a city and seaport of S. Italy, in Prin-cipato Citra, on the gulf of Salerno, 24 m. S. E. of Naples; pop. about 5,000, and with several independent villages about 7,000. It is encircled by mountains and precipices, at the mouth of a gorge, from which a little torrent dashes into the gulf, furnishing power for numerous mills and manufactories. It has been an archbishop's see since 987, and besides the ancient cathedral, in the Romanesque style, there are several fine churches and a Capuchin convent. The coasting trade, fisheries, and manufactures of paper, soap, and macaroni are the principal industries. The macaroni of Amalfi is famous, and is exported to all parts of the world. - Amalfi is believed to have been founded in the 4th century, but is not mentioned in history-till the 6th. It early became an independent republic, governed by doges, and the principal centre of eastern trade, with a population of 50,000, the dependent territory comprising 500,-000. It originated a new maritime code (Tabula Amalphitana), introduced into Europe an improved knowledge of the mariner's compass, and preserved the earliest known MS. of the Pandects. The inhabitants also acquired distinction in the crusades as the founders of the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, from which the knights of Malta derived their name.

In 1075 Robert Guiscard was called to the aid of the republic against the duke of Salerno, and afterward annexed it to his dukedom of Apulia; but it maintained a partial independence till 1131, when it capitulated to King Roger of Sicily, retaining the right of municipal self-government. Its decline in commercial importance was hastened by wars with the Pisans, by the encroachments of the sea upon its harbor from the 12th century, and the destruction of its quays and public works by a great storm in 1343. In later times the titles of duke and prince of Amalfi were held by various families,