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Lombardy

Lombardy (lŏm´bərdē), Ital. Lombardia, region (1991 pop. 8,856,069), c.9,200 sq mi (23,830 sq km), N Italy, bordering on Switzerland in the north. Milan is the capital of the region, which is divided into the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Mantua, Milan, Pavia, Sondrio, and Varese (named for their capitals).

Land and Economy

Lombardy has Alpine peaks and glaciers in the north, several picturesque lakes, and upland pastures that slope to the rich, irrigated Po valley in the south. The Valtellina valley is in the northeast. Rice, cereals, forage, flax, and sugar beets are the main crops of Lombardy, and the mulberry is extensively cultivated for use in sericulture. Milan is the chief commercial, industrial, and financial center in Italy, and Lombardy is the country's leading industrial region. Manufactures include textiles, clothing, iron and steel, machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals, furniture, and wine. There are universities at Milan and Pavia.

History

The Lombard plain, located in the central part of Lombardy at the confluence of several Alpine passes, has for centuries been a much coveted and frequently invaded area, and it has been a battlefield in many wars. First inhabited by a Gallic people, the region became (3d cent. BC) part of the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul. It suffered heavily during the barbarian invasions that took place toward the end of the Roman Empire. In AD 569 the region was made the center of the kingdom of the Lombards, for whom it was named. Lombardy was united in 774 with the empire of Charlemagne.

After a period of confusion (10th cent.), power gradually passed (11th cent.) from feudal lords to autonomous communes, and a general economic revival occurred. Trade between N Europe and the E Mediterranean was largely carried on via the Po valley, and Lombard merchants and bankers did business throughout Europe. In the 12th cent. several cities united in the Lombard League in order to defy Emperor Frederick I, who wanted to assert his authority over the communes, and defeated him at Legnano (1176). The 13th cent. was marked by struggles between Guelphs (pro-papal) and Ghibellines (pro-imperial), which resulted in wars among cities and rivalries between families within cities. In the 11th–12th cent. there was a characteristic Lombard Romanesque architecture, and during the Renaissance Lombardy had a flourishing school of painting whose leading figures were Bernardino Luini and Gaudenzio Ferrari.

Except for Mantua (ruled by the Gonzaga family), Lombardy fell (14th–15th cent.) under the sway of the Visconti family and the Sforza dukes of Milan. However, Bergamo and Brescia (1428) and Cremona (1529) were lost to Venice and the Valtellina valley was taken by the Grisons (1512). After the end (mid-16th cent.) of the Italian Wars, the rest of Lombardy followed the fortunes of Milan. Spanish rule (1535–1713) was followed by that of Austria (1713–96) and of France (1796–1814). The Lombardo-Venetian kingdom was established under Austrian rule in 1815. Lombardy briefly ousted the Austrians in 1848–49; in 1859 they were permanently removed and the kingdom was dissolved.

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Lombardy

Lombardy (Lombardia) Region in n Italy, bordering Switzerland in the n; the capital is Milan. Lombardy is Italy's most populous and industrial region. It consists of the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Mantova, Milano, Pavia, Sondrio, and Varese. North Lombardy is an Alpine region with many lakes. South Lombardy is dominated by the fertile plain of the River Po. The plains have been a major European battleground, from the Roman occupation of the 3rd century bc to the Italian take-over in 1859. Area: 23,834sq km (9202sq mi). Pop. (1999) 9,028,913.

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Lombardy

Lombardybody, embody, Irrawaddy, Kirkcaldy, noddy, Passamaquoddy, shoddy, Soddy, squaddie, toddy, wadi •secondi, spondee, tondi •anybody • everybody • busybody •dogsbody • homebody •bawdy, gaudy, Geordie, Lordy •baldy, Garibaldi, Grimaldi •Maundy •cloudy, dowdy, Gaudí, howdy, rowdy, Saudi •Jodie, roadie, toady, tody •Goldie, mouldy (US moldy), oldie •broody, foodie, Judy, moody, Rudi, Trudy, Yehudi •goody, hoodie, woody •Burundi, Kirundi, Mappa Mundi •Rushdie •bloody, buddy, cruddy, cuddy, muddy, nuddy, ruddy, study •barramundi, bassi profundi, Lundy, undy •fuddy-duddy • understudy •Lombardy • nobody • somebody •organdie (US organdy) • burgundy •Arcady •chickadee, Picardy •malady • melody • Lollardy •psalmody • Normandy • threnody •hymnody • jeopardy • chiropody •parody • rhapsody • prosody •bastardy • custody •birdie, curdy, hurdy-gurdy, nerdy, sturdy, vinho verde, wordy •olde worlde

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Lombardy

LOMBARDY

LOMBARDY , region of N. *Italy; the political and physical borders, in which *Mantua also would be included, have not always coincided. References to Jews in Lombardy (*Milan) date to the fourth century; subsequently there is only slight evidence down to the very end of the 12th century, when Jews are found engaged in moneylending. In 1225 the Jews were expelled from *Pavia and *Cremona; in 1278 they began to be harassed by the conversionist sermons of the *Dominicans. Before the end of the 13th century, Jews of German origin arrived in Lombardy and engaged in moneylending, mainly settling in Cremona as the Jews were expelled from Milan in 1320. In the 14th century and during the first decades of the 15th, small communities were constituted in *Pavia, *Vicenza, and *Como. In general, however, the Jewish population in the region remained small. Although Jews were accorded favorable treatment by the Visconti and Sforza dukes of Milan, the populace in general remained hostile.

The Cremona community remained important in the 16th century; its talmudic academy and printing establishment were famous. Further groups of Jews were by now settled in *Alessandria and *Lodi. In 1452, Pope Nicholas v authorized Duke Francesco Sforza to maintain their existing privileges on condition that the restrictive ecclesiastical regulations were strictly enforced. However, the Jews were compelled to maintain loan banks in every town in Lombardy, even where they incurred losses, and to pay the government an exceptionally heavy annual tax. Even after the duchy of Milan passed under Spanish rule in 1535, the Jews there continued to have their residential permit renewed about every ten years, although they were not permitted to reside permanently in Milan itself. In 1565, Philip ii of Spain decided to expel the Jews from the duchy. After lengthy negotiations in Madrid, permission was given for them to remain until 1597, when the 900 Jewish residents had to leave. Two families were allowed to remain in each of the three towns of Cremona, Lodi, and Alessandria. In the course of time, the Jews disappeared from the first two, but in Alessandria the Jewish population had increased to 230 by 1684. After Lombardy passed to Austria in 1713 a few Jews again settled in the region. Their number increased after 1800, and reached 500 by the middle of the 19th century, mainly concentrated in Milan.

After the incorporation of Lombardy in the Kingdom of Italy in 1859–61, and the commercial and industrial transformation of the region which followed, there was a considerable increase in the Jewish population. Former members of now disintegrating small Italian communities, as well as industrialists from Germany and Austria, settled in Lombardy. In the middle of the present century, there was Jewish immigration from Germany and after 1947 from Libya, Egypt, and Iraq. The Jewish population numbered 3,500 in 1901 (almost all living in Milan), and 11,000 in 1938, reduced during the Holocaust. Milan maintained a population of 6,500 into the 21st century.

bibliography:

Roth, Italy, index; Milano, Italia, index, s.v.Lombardia; Milano, Bibliotheca, index; Rota, in: Bollettino della società parese di storia patria, 4 (1906), 349–82; Levi Minzi, in: Israel (Feb. 11, 1932); Scharf, in: rmi, 2 (1926/27), 33–49.

[Attilio Milano]

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