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Atlas of True Names - USA Poster

This is more than a map it is an extraordinary map - interesting, informative and controversial - but above all else, great fun!

  • Lightweight clear plastic protective laminate to front of map
  • Informative, inherently humourous and controversial
  • Just plain interesting!
  • A never to be forgotten present with great longevity


Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust, the creators of the ‘Atlas of True Names’, spent some time cogitating on how best to present the double-sided folding format as a single-sided wall map. You now see the result of these deliberations and we hope you agree that the decision they reached was a good one. The map is at the centre of the poster, framed by the derivations so that you, your family and friends can pick out names and find their original meaning without ever losing sight of the original map, now presented with beautiful antique colouring.

The ‘Atlas of True Names’ reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on today's maps of the World, Europe, the British Isles and the USA.

The 'True Names' of more than 2000 cities, countries, rivers, oceans and mountain ranges are displayed on these 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: “Isles 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 observer 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)

our price £14.99

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