Updated Sat 14 Oct 2016 • tags maps, europe
These are notes I'm taking, in SVG map form, as I study European history. A key aim here is to allow me to switch from map to map and see how boundaries evolve across an unchanging, Europe-wide background.
With each map you have options that bring things in and out of the map. These include: schematic vs. relief background, country borders vs. none, old vs. modern place names and city names, rivers vs none. Note, however, that the relief map comes with some rivers already marked. Use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out, and hold the mouse down to move the map around.
The starting point for these maps is information in Colin McEvedy's excellent series of books, in particular The New Penguin Atlas of Medieval History. To create the maps themselves, I typically start with boundaries suggested by McEvedy, but then use detailed information form other sources, in particular, but by no means solely, the Times History of Europe and Wikipedia. So, in the end they are composed from many different sources. I didn't do a good job of noting the sources before the end of April 2016, so there needs to be some reconstruction here, which will take place as time and opportunity permits.
Boundaries are approximate for a number of reasons: first, in the earlier times especially, the borders were only approximate anyway; second, I have usually deduced the boundary information from small-scale maps, and sometimes the lack of geographical features makes accuracy difficult; third, the sources often differ about where boundaries lay, or are tied to dates that are slightly different. You should therefore treat the boundaries on the maps as approximate. However, at this scale, and in order to provide an idea of key changes at the European level, this is typically sufficient.
The background map by Tubs is available from Wikimedia commons. The rest is hand drawn by myself.