Autonomous region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 595,727), southern Italy. Roughly divided into a western mountainous region and an eastern section of low hills and wide valleys, its capital is Potenza. Known in ancient times as Lucania, the area was under Lombard League rule in the early Middle Ages. Until the fall of the Swabian Hohenstaufens (1254), it played a significant part in the affairs of southern Italy; later it followed the variable fortunes of the Kingdom of Naples until united with the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. The region suffered severe damage in a disastrous earthquake in 1980. Agriculture is an economic mainstay.