Friday, 6 July 2007

A refreshing look of history-reasons why old maps are cool

When it comes to history, I never really cared for it much as I just thought of it as a waste of our valuable memory which (I was strongly in favour of the useful subjects like the sciences - alas I was young and dreamt of a sci-fi utopia where historians were only to be found scattered in various glass jars with lot of bubble streams etc.). However I'm a bit more easy-going now that I've matured and realise there is room for all those countless dates which set out a timeline of events that happened a long, long time ago. Especially when it comes to weird maps! I haven't confused the subject with Geography but historical maps are cool in a way because:

  • They look like they were drawn by children

  • You can use them as a hanky and no one would know

  • They didn't help anyone find anything

  • You can pretend to be a pirate

If i think of any more I will update - or feel free to suggest

Anyway I found a site which contains cool maps and there is one which is useful for my cause. It's of Poland in the 12th Century and there's some serious historical chat going on which impressed me....much knowledge being tossed around about Boleslav and his 14 kids. (That's nothing, my grandmother on my fathers side gave birth to 22 kids and 12 on my mothers. My parents are Irish if your interested. Having over 150 first cousins makes family tree-making that you have to do at primary school a monstrously difficult task. My sister actually got into trouble for lying because she wanted quite a bit of extra paper.

The map:

It's like looking at Google earth! Click here if you want the details and that history jazz where this map is sourced from.

But if you cant wait the second for the link to load then here is a quote from the site

"Boleslav was Christian. Poland was officially ‘Christened’ in 966 in a political move to stop German encroachment justified as missionary efforts. The date is now considered the beginning of the Polish state. The tribes to the north and east of Poland remained pagan for hundreds of years leading to Polish encroachment/missionary activity in their lands. In the early 13th century another Polish Prince (the proper term for an independent feudal leader who is not a king - a duke is a vassal) Prince Konrad of Mazovia (no silly nickname, unfortunately) in a political move that was astoundingly stupid invited the Teutonic Knights to come and deal with the Prussians and Jadzvings. This they did by killing them all and replacing them with German colonists (who then took over the name of ‘Prussians’). In effect, instead of a barbarian tribe, Poland ended up with an expansionist, militarist, religiously fanatic organisation on its northern borders leading to hundreds of years of conflict. The repercussions of Konrad’s decision have been felt down the ages having been instrumental in the unification of Germany by the latter Prussians, the start of the second world war when Germany demanded a ‘land corridor’ to Prussia and, even now, leaving the Kaliningrad oblast of Russia as an enclave surrounded by the EU - with the attendant political tensions.
Comment by Konrad Talmont-Kaminski — June 23, 2007 @"

There we go then, a brief period of Poland's history for you to digest at your leisure.

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