This Map Is a Crash Course in European History, 1 A.D. to Today | Smart News | Smithsonian
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This Map Is a Crash Course in European History, 1 A.D. to Today

A three minute video shows 1000 years of European conquest

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The most recent millennium of European political history was wrought with war and conquest. Borders shifted; empires rose and fell. In the video above we see Europe’s evolution from 1000 A.D. to the modern era, a three-and-a-half minute crash course in modern European history, all set against that song from Inception that everyone loves.

Where the Europe we know today  is made up of a number of large, relatively stable states, that was not always the case. Look to the central European region, where what is now Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and others was fragmented into myriad tiny regions.

That trend toward smaller, independent political states carried over from the preceding millennium. Here’s a map showing a longer period of time, from 1 A.D. to 2000 A.D., made using maps from Euratlas. At the beginning of the common era, Europe was dominated by the Roman Empire. You can see the fragmentation beginning, starting around 400 A.D.

An extended view, from 1 AD to 2000 AD. If you click it will get bigger and easier to read. Photos: Euratlas

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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