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Dictionary Project, Volume X: Europe

The Dictionary Project is a post-a-day exploration of The Century Dictionary and Cylopedia, a twelve-volume set printed in New York in 1901. The Project runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, and matches volume numbers to calendar months. Volume X is The Atlas, and today is Day 10.

Now here’s a place that’s changed a bit since this map was drawn! Oh sure, the UK looks the same, and the Iberian Peninsula, and France, and Italy, but whoa, hang on, what about that bit in the middle?

Map of Europe, 1897

The German Empire? Austria-Hungary, not the Austro-Hungarian Empire? The Turkish Empire? (Was the the same as the Ottoman Empire, I wonder, and kick myself for not paying more attention in History class, because I don’t even remember if we covered the Ottoman Empire.) Hey, look, Istabul was still Constantinople. And Bulgaria looks too small, and so does Romania (which is spelled with a ‘u’, like in a Gothic novel), and there’s no such country as Moldova yet. And Russia’s big, but seems not to include Siberia; perhaps nobody was especially interested in it yet.

Fascinating, isn’t it? We’ll be looking at many of these places closer up in the days to come, so thanks for sticking with me!

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