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Atlas of True Names - USA Map

And somewhere on the way you might find out who you are!

  • Interesting
  • Informative
  • Controversial
  • A present not to be forgotten


This incredible folded map reveals the literal meaning of hundreds of familiar geographical names on today’s map of the USA. The ‘Atlas of True Names’ is more than a map - it is an extraordinary map - interesting, informative and controversial, but above all else, great fun!It reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on todays maps of the World and Europe. For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated, the ‘Atlas’ gives you "Sea of Sand", Arab. es-sahra "desert, sea of sand". The True Names of 1500 cities, countries, rivers, oceans and mountain ranges are displayed on these two fascinating maps, each of which includes a comprehensive index of derivations. Etymology, (OGr. etymon “true sense” and logos “speech, oration, discourse, word”) is the study of the origin and history of words. For the first time, the ‘Atlas of True Names’ uses etymology to give us an unusual insight into familiar geographical names – with intriguing results...... Once the names have been taken back to their roots and translated into English, it is immediately apparent that our world has an extraordinary affinity with Middle Earth, the mythical continent where the events of Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ are played out. Middle Earth’s evocative “Midgewater”, “Dead Marshes” and “Mount Doom” are strikingly similar in nature to Europe’s “Swirlwater”, “Darkford” or “Smoky Bay”, as revealed by the ‘Atlas of True Names’. Many geographical names are clearly rooted in Man’s observation of his natural environment; the physical location of a settlement: “At the Foot of the Mountain” – Piedmont, the character of an important water course: “The Gentle One” – The Seine or even just the local vegetation: “Under the Oaks” – Potsdam. Unsurprisingly, countries and landscapes often derive their names from the characteristics of the people who lived there: “Great Land of the Tattooed” – Great Britain, whilst local mythology and regional rulers also frequently leave their legacy: “Isle of the Monster’s Eye” – Peleponnese or “Illustrious Emperor” – Zaragoza. Sometimes, it is impossible to deny the force of the Roman proverb ‘nomen est omen’. For instance Grozny - the Chechnyan capital which, over the last years, has been destroyed in so many wars, – translates as “The Awesome”. The ‘Atlas of True Names’ restores an element of enchantment to the world we all think we know so well. It takes the reader on a journey into the unknown – a unique exploration of uncharted territory in that familiar place we all know as ‘home’. Take a look at the world through fresh eyes! Stephan Hormes (Cartographer)

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