A Year: Day to Day Men: 3rd of September

Feet Off the Ground

September 3, 301 is the official founding date of the Republic of San Marino.

The Republic of San Marino is an enclave micro-state surrounded by Italy, situated on the northeastern side of Italy in the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 square kilometers or 24 square miles. San Marino has the smallest population, 33, 562 inhabitants, of all the Council of Europe’s forty-seven member states.

Saint Marius, a stonemason by trade who came from modern-day Croatia, fled persecution for his Christian beliefs during the Diocletianic Persecution, the last and most severe of the persecutions by the Roman Empire. He became a deacon and was ordained by Gaudentius, the Bishop of Rimini, a diocese in Italy. Saint Marius fled to Monte Titano and built a chapel and monastery there; its founding date was September 3rd in the year 301. After Marius’ canonization as a saint, the State of Marino grew from that monastery.

San Marino is governed by its constitution, the Leges Statutae Republicae Sanct Marini, a series of six books written in Latin in the late 16th century. These books dictate the country’s political system, among other matters. The country is considered to have the earliest written governing documents, still in effect. San Marino’s independence was recognized in 1631 by the Papacy.

Although traces of human presence from both prehistoric and Roman times exist in the territory, Mount Titano and its slopes are known to have been populated, with certainty, only after the arrival of St. Marinus and his followers. San Marino citizens, or Sammarinesi, make up more than four-fifths of the country’s population, with Italians composing most of the remainder. There is no official religion, although the majority are Roman Catholics, and the official language is Italian.

Because centuries-long quarrying has exhausted Mount Titano’s stone and ended the craft that depended upon it, the territory is now without mineral resources. All electrical power is transferred via electrical grid from Italy, San Marino’s main trading partner. The country’s principal resources are industry, tourism, commerce, agriculture, and crafts. Ceramic and wrought-iron articles, as well as modern and reproduction furniture, are among San Marino’s traditional craft products. Fine printing, particularly of collectible postage stamps, is a consistent source of revenues; and banking is a vital industry. San Marino adopted the euro as its national currency.

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