Archipelago (pop., 2001: 841,669), western Mediterranean Sea, constituting an autonomous community and province of Spain. It occupies an area of 1,927 sq mi (4,992 sq km); its capital is Palma. The most important islands are Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera, and Cabrera. Long inhabited, the islands were ruled by Carthage in the 6th century BC, by Rome from circa 120 BC, and by the Byzantine Empire from AD 534. Raided by the Arabs, the area was conquered in the 10th century by the Umayyad dynasty at Córdoba. It was reconquered by the Spanish and united with the kingdom of Aragon in 1349. After territorial challenges in the 18th century by the British, the islands came under Spanish rule in 1802. The present-day economy is fueled by tourism.
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Balearic is the name given collectively to the group of Catalan variants spoken in the Balearic Islands, Spain. The collective term was coined by philologists, while the historic names used by the speakers themselves refer to the language as if it was local to each island, and so "Mallorquí" ("Majorcan"), "Eivissenc" ("Ibizan") and "Menorquí" ("Minorcan") may be used as alternative names.
At the last census 746,792 people in the Balearic Islands claimed to be able to speak Catalan, though some of these people may be speakers of mainland variants
Some features of Balearic: