Goal of this project is to draw complete maps with all legal historical regions in Europe and those parts of Asia and Africa which were in closest interaction with medieval Europe. Clear historical regions with clear borders exist only in Europe and some parts of Asia and Africa, while in most of the muslim world geographic borders were not as important as in Europe itself. However, this fact doesn't mean there were no historical regions outside Europe, just their borders are more vague.
There are also parts of Asia and Africa, especialy Arabian peninsula and Sahara, where no regions existed. There were only beduins nomadizing in their tribal areas. So in Arabia the "regions" in fact reflect tribal areas of Arab tribes in the time of early Islam.
In Europe the situation was completely diferent. Since the empire of Franks local rulers were becomming more independent on central government. Territorries were splitting into smaller pieces and these small territorries were objects of political struggle and were moving fromone ruler to another. However the borders of these small territorries were mostly respected or small pieces were excluded from them and were getting new legal statuses.
This project Regions of medieval Europe tries to take a portrait of historical regions in Europe between approximately 1000 and 1500 C.E. In those parts of thie map where sources for this timeperiod are very rare, the timeframe is wider and in Arabian peninsula goes back to times of prophet Mohammed and first caliphs. The timeframe in Africa is limited untill european exploration of seas around Africa which brought an end to trans-Saharan caravan trade.
|Zdenek NovŠk, 6/2007|