This is a map by Guillume de L’Isle, reflecting the Baltic Sea and a variety of the lands surrounding it. To the right of the Baltic are the small republics including Estonia, what was then called Livonia, soon-to-become Lithuania, countries which have as we know from modern history, been shaped and reshaped and re-reshaped as warring parties and empiring nations take them over and dictate new geography. Even today, the Baltic republics are regularly threatened by the existence of a very large Russian neighbor. Above them, across the Gulf of Finland, is Finland itself and then across to the left are depictions of both Norway, in green, and Sweden, in pink. Right in the middle of the Baltic is the island of Gotland, with the city of Visby, well-known because it was from Visby that a great mercantile trading arrangement was created and ran commerce throughout the Baltic region for many, many years. Down to the left we see Denmark, and a portion of what was to become Germany, but which still at the time of this map in 1719, is a series of small duchies and kingdoms not yet gathered together into the great country of Germany. So, this map is dramatically colored and tells a wonderful story of the way in which those lands were arrayed and what their loyalties and national associations were back in the early 18th century.
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