Lombardy is the name given to that part of Northern Italy which formed the "nucleus" of the kingdom of the Longobardi (q.v.). Incorporated in 774 into the Carlovingian possessions, it became an independent kingdom again in 843, though it was not entirely severed from the Frankish monarchy until 888. It now consisted of the whole of Italy north of the Peninsula, with the exception of Savoy and Venice. In 961 it was annexed to the German empire, and its territory thereafter gradually lessened by the formation of several small but independent duchies and republics. Throughout the Middle Ages the Lombards were compelled to league together with their neighbors to retain their independence from the German emperors. The assumptions of Frederick Barbarossa they successfully defeated in 1176, and so also those of Frederick II. But by internal dissensions they were gradually weakened, and in 1540 Spain finally took possession of Lombardy, and held it until about 1706, when it fell to Austria, and was designated "Austrian Lombardy." In 1796 it became part of the Cisalpine republic, but in 1815 it was restored to Austria, and annexed politically to the newly-acquired Venetian territory under the name of the Lombardo- Venetian kingdom. This union was dissolved in 1859 by the Italian War, Lombardy, with the exception of the Venetian territory (finally also given to Italy in 1866), falling to the new kingdom of Italy. "Here is now no political division called Lombardy, the country having been parceled out into the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Milan, Pavia, and Sondrio. Its total area was 9086 English square miles, with a population, in 1885, of 3,460,824 souls, mostly Roman Catholics. SEE ITALY.