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Explanation and FAQ

Periodis Atlas Explanation and Frequently Asked Questions

What Inbetween

I - And What In-between?

Why Africa and Not Scandinavia

II - Why Not Scandinavia?

We were never incorporated

III - Never Incorporated?

Where is My Country?

IV - Where is My Country?

Where Are My Ancestors?

V - Where Are My Ancestors?

GIS Data

VI - And the GIS Data?


Three kinds of entities are shown:
1. Independent states, that are possessing these four features simultaneously: Such entities are drawn in plain color and their names are written in black. They may be divided in parts, with names in red italics. These parts may contain sub-parts, counties or provinces etc., with names in grey italics. Borders of parts are broken brown lines with white edging and borders of sub-parts are mere brown broken lines.

2. Dependent or semi-independent states that are possessing:
Such a dependency may be the result of an union with a stronger country, a legal link or a military occupation. These entities are drawn with their proper color which appears plain when they are independent but, here, is surrounded by a strip of the same color as the dominant state. Their names are marked in plain grey fonts while the main name is written in black. Dependent states are sometimes including sub-parts whose names are printed in grey italics. Dependency may be the result of many kinds of reasons. I have tried to consider only effective dependency. In spite of this, many complex cases are left. The most common are those where a country X claims lordship over a country Y while the latter maintains to be free and sources are not very clear. When the state Y does not rule the state X according to him, it is drawn as dependent.

3. Populations not well-known or nomadic. Their names are written in dark grey italics on white, grey areas or shaded with grey areas.

Graduate colors towards white or another color are often used. This shows uncertain boundaries.

On all maps, names are written in Latin from AD 1 to AD 500 and in English from AD 600 on.


Periodis is a historical atlas of a new kind. We did not try to show the crucial historical moments but to outline the evolution of the European cultural area. Thus we have drawn with a regular frequency the countries of Europe over the centuries.

History by Periods
History is a continuous string of events among which prominent facts sometimes emerge: wars, conquests, revolutions etc. We can evaluate the influence of these important movements in the course of time, by comparing them to the normal periods, to the "control years" in some way. The Periodis historical Atlas, describes the political status of the European continent at fixed intervals. It therefore represents a list of reference points and permits an appreciation of the real range of important items on the continuation of political changes. Stress is put on the precise drawing of territories at one exact instant defined by an arbitrary periodicity, that is the first day of each centennial year.
The notions taken into account are legal, literary or linguistic. We noted in English the names of the states as they are known, and we distinguished the sovereign states, the semi-independent entities, the 1st - when existent - and 2nd level administrative divisions. When information was insufficient, usual names of groups or federations of populations only are indicated. The place-names are usually mentioned in local language but, sometimes, alternative forms are used too, in order to allow easier research.

Names of entities mentioned in the Periodis Historical Atlas are those officially used at the considered time. When the latter are not known or when sources are contradictory, we have applied the names mentionned by sources close to the depicted region and to the century of the map. In cases where such information isn't available, a short circumlocution names such an entity. For nomad populations, we have used the names by which those peoples were commonly described in the 20th century.

According to knowledge existing in the second half of 20th century, only effective borders were drawn. Thus, territories only nominally subjected to a state are inserted in the area of the state ruling effectively. A dotted frame of same color as that of the dominant power surrounds such a territory and its official name is written in dark grey whereas the dominant state name is black. To simplify matters, one can say that borders are lines someone cannot cross without difficulty at the considered century.

Christos Nüssli, 2009-2011