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Using a new catalog of 824 solar and late-type stars with measured X-ray luminosities and rotation periods we have studied the relationship between rotation and stellar activity that is believed to be a probe of the underlying stellar dynamo. Using an unbiased subset of the sample we calculate the power law slope of the unsaturated regime of the activity-rotation relationship as LX/Lbol α Roβ, where β = –2.70 ± 0.13. Notably this is inconsistent with the canonical β = –2 slope to a confidence of 5σ are argues for an interface-type dynamo. Super-saturation is observed for the fastest rotators in our sample and its parametric dependencies are explored. Significant correlations are found with both the corotation radius and the excess polar updraft, the latter theory being preferred as it is supported by other observations. We also present a new X-ray population synthesis model of the mature stellar component of our Galaxy and use it to reproduce deep observations of a high Galactic latitude field. The model, XStar, can be used to test models of stellar spin-down and dynamo decay, as well as for estimating stellar X-ray contamination rates for non-stellar studies. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)