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About antique maps of Eastern Europe
Many of Europe’s finest map and print-makers have worked on Central and Eastern Europe, among them Johann Baptiste Homann (1664-1724), Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718), Mattheus Merian (1593-1650) and others. I have a large selection of antique maps from those cartographers. I also have many antique views.
The distinction between east and west Europe originate in the history of the Roman Empire. The eastern section adopted the Greek language and culture, and the Hellenistic civilisation. The western provinces adopted Latin. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the early middle ages, but the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire continued to thrive for another 1,000 years.
In the 15th century the Byzatine Empire was conquered by the Muslim Ottoman Empire, and part of Eastern Europe was invaded by the Mongols.
The result of the first world war was the breakup of the Russian Empire, the Astro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, and also losses to Germany. After the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 a number of new states were created. There were a growing number of smaller nations who wanted their independence. There was a surge of ethnic nationalism. New countries included were Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, and Poland which was reconstituted after the partitions of the 1790s where it had been divided by Russia, Germany and Austria. Bulgaria, Albania and Greece were independant and Austria and Hungary had reduced borders. In 1918 Yugoslavia, formed from territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and merged with the independent Kingdom of Serbia and the Kingdom of Montenegro. It was renamed Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.