According to tradition, San Marino was founded in AD 301 when a Christian
stonemason named Marinus the Dalmation fled the island of Arbe to escape the
anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of Mount
Titano and founded a small community of people following their Christian
beliefs. It is certain that the area had been inhabited since prehistoric
times, although evidence of existence on Mount Titano dates back only to the
Middle Ages. In memory of the stone cutter, the land was renamed "Land
of San Marino," then called the "Community of San Marino,"
and was finally changed to its present-day name, "Republic of San
The original government structure was composed of a self-governed assembly known as the Arengo, which consisted of the heads of each family. In 1243, the positions of Captains Regent (Capitani Reggenti) were established to be the joint heads of state.
The land area of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano until 1463, when the republic entered into an alliance against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, who was later defeated. As a result, Pope Pius II Piccolomini gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. Later that year, the town of Faetano joined the republic on its own accord. Since then, the size of the country has remained the same.
San Marino has been occupied by foreign militaries twice in its history, both for only short periods of time. In 1503 Cesare Borgia, known as Valentino, occupied the republic until his death several months later. In 1739, Cardinal Alberoni used military force to occupy the country, but civil disobedience was used to protest this, and clandestine notes sent to the Pope to obtain justice were answered by the Pope's recognition of San Marino's rights and restoration of independence.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > San Marino > Map Economy History