Template talk:Maps of the history of Europe
I think this template is a great idea as a collection of maps about European history. I've been adding lots of maps to this template recently. It leads me to think about which maps should be included and excluded. The current criteria, added by someone under 'Guidelines', state the following:
- "Only include maps showing the whole of Europe in this template."
- "Only include maps showing countries/regions rather than other maps such as demography, economy etc."
- "This is for maps showing historical areas, the dates refer to the year the map depicts, not when it was made."
So, this means purely political history, right? Maps with state borders. Well, this is a rather narrow view of history. For example, I think that the Bubonic Plague had such a great impact on European history that it deserves at least one map for 1347–51. I also think that cultural history is important; if I could find a good map of the foundation of universities in the Middle Ages, for example, I would want to include it (even though it may be hard to pin it down to a specific year, even century). And what about military and religious history? Maps of the Christianisation of Europe, the Crusades (some of which were already included, I added a few more), or the early modern Reformation Wars and the spread of Protestantism, such things are important. (I've also added some maps about the gradual transition from monarchies and ecclesiastical lands to republics, which is an important cultural evolution, perhaps more than it is a political one). And what about pre- or proto-state cultures in Europe? There were already maps of the Middle Neolithic and Late Neolithic, so I decided to add a bunch of probably useful maps of prehistoric European cultures after the last ice age until the rise of Rome. Do we exclude them on the basis that these societies were not literate, and thus belong to pre- or protohistory rather than history (which starts with the Ancient Greeks and Romans)? This leads me to the next problem: do we really need to exclude all maps that don't portray, for example, the whole of Scandinavia or European Russia? A great many maps between 200 BCE and 400 BCE focus on the Roman Empire and its neighbours; these maps are centred on the Mediterranean Sea, and show Southern Europe, North Africa and West Asia, rarely all of Europe. Yet I think nobody would deny these maps are highly informative of 'European history'. On the other hand, many medieval maps will focus on Western Europe and exclude the Balkans and sometimes parts of Southern and Eastern Europe. Does that mean we should exclude them? I don't know. I'm very interested in your feedback. Greetings, Nederlandse Leeuw (talk) 22:25, 1 November 2016 (UTC)