Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Tracks of History

Arkhein posted about an interesting book that goes into how geography shapes history.  Well, that history then leaves traces of itself on the geography in the form of names.

This probably isn't new to you if you've been interested in making your own worlds, but I thought these were a couple cool examples of the linguistic evidence historic events leave on a landscape.
Here you can see the various names used for waterways as evidence of the different languages used by the colonizing cultures.
And in the U.K.

So, once you figure out your geography, then figure out how that shaped historical events, then figure out what languages your various cultures used, you can name places based on that information.  Piece of cake!

via here.


  1. Those are fascinating maps. I had no idea about a lot of the US regional differences, and those look really sharply defined; just grew up with the New England terminology.

    Apropos, I recently found out that a forest is not the same thing as a woods; a forest is a legal term referring to a king's hunting preserve, which technically can be any terrain type at all, though most often was woods.

  2. Glad you liked them. That's interesting. I think I'm pretty limited by my experiences; I've heard words all my life that I'm not really sure what they would look like in reality: downs, fells, copses, glades, etc. Need to read and travel away from these dry brown lands more often I guess.