In the northern parts of the empire very little land is left uncultivated.
The population was greatly reduced in numbers, and much of the land was left uncultivated.
At the Domesday Survey much of the land was still uncultivated, but its prosperity increased, and in 126 9 each of the twelve prebends of the collegiate church had a house and farmland within the parish.
On the lower slopes of the mountains and on all the parts left uncultivated the prevailing form of vegetation consists of a dense growth of shrubs with thick leathery leaves, such as are known to the French as maquis, to the Italians as macchic, and to the Spaniards as monte bajo,2 shrubs which, however much they resemble each other in external appearance, belong botanically to a great variety of families.
Taxes are not sufficiently proportioned to what the land may reasonably be expected to produce, nor sufficient allowance made for the exceptional conditions of a southern climate, in which a few hours bad weather may destroy a whole crop. The Italian agriculturist has come to look (and often in vain) for action on a large scale from the state, for irrigation, drainage of uncultivated low-lying land, which may be made fertile, river regulation, &c.; while to the small proprietor the state often appears only as a hard and inconsiderate tax-gatherer.