LITHUANIA AND THE BORDERLANDS OF EUROPE IN MAPS

A Short Visit

Į ekspoziciją



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Theme:
State

 14th-18th centuries

Catalog of the Exhibition

Today, as Europe moves to unite, the Euro has just been introduced. The noted theoreticist of history, Bjorn Riuzen, asks, "…and what will be the spiritual Euro?" To paraphrase, we may ask: and what, in general, is Europe? Any answer will be insufficient, unless the question of European borders is considered. In the geographical sense, today's European borders seem clear - eastward, they run along the Ural and Caucasian mountains, but earlier there may just as well have been other bases for geographical borders. Long centuries passed, as the maps of Europe filled with the names of lands, especially those along the periphery, before Europe's topographical boundaries were known and recognized. 

It is obvious that the concept of Western, Middle and Eastern Europe is often invested, not just with geographic or political form, but in general summarized as civilization. Nowadays, the boundaries of the European Union are almost the same as those of the ninth-century empire of Charlemagne. It seems exactly the Europe of that time that we equate with Latinized Western Europe, leaving the countries of Byzantium beyond its borders. Then, how many civilizations are there in Europe: just one, the Latin, or two - the Latin and the Byzantine? Lithuania, having formed a nation, resisted Christianization and remained pagan for 200 years. Perhaps, then, Lithuania had created a third, though underdeveloped, European civilization? By whatever reckoning, Lithuania, as the last European nation to accept Christianity, became the easternmost land of Latin culture, and the last part of Middle Europe; through Lithuania ran the line between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Lithuania was the first, in 1990, to liberate itself from the Soviet empire. Is it perhaps because of all these circumstances, that here in Lithuania questions arise about the civilizations of Europe? Or, perhaps because today, French scientists have located the geographic center of Europe near our capital, Vilnius, we take interest in the question of the boundaries of Europe itself.

It seems that our own Lithuanian heritage may provide answers to these questions - Vilnius University Library preserves a large collection of Europe's classical cartography.
THE GEOGRAPHICAL BOUNDARIES OF EUROPE
"FILLING OUT" THE MAPS OF EUROPE
TOPOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATIONS OF EUROPE'S REGIONS
EUROPE: ONE CIVILIZATION OR MANY?
LITHUANIA IN EUROPEAN CARTOGRAPHY

Text and illustrations for this web page were provided by the History Faculty of Vilnius University.

Ekspozicija In Excursion through this website you may view a model of the exposition, its structure and a few WebPages. This site is managed by Vilnius University Faculty of History.

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Contact address: nerute@ktl.mii.lt. Page updated  2008.10.28