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Geographically the closest region to mainland Antarctica, the micro landmass of Australia is trapped in the blustery westerly winds that circumnavigate the globe relatively unimpeded. Cetecea offers a glimpse into what Antarctica would have looked like had the continent not become ice-bound. The windbreak of ranges running along the spines of Siluria and Australia allow for some relief, but exposed parts of the region have much cooler temperatures than counterparts in the northern hemisphere of comparable latitudes.

Archaeological sites in both Siluria and Cetecea suggest the region was briefly settled by Austronesians before being abandoned. Though European settlers were more adept to adapt to the cool climate of Australia and found a favourable climate in Siluria, the remoteness of the islands here allowed for peculiar and free-spirited cultures to emerge. Cetecea also forms the basis for the quasi-regional concept of Cisantarctica, which groups together countries of the British Commonwealth that touch the Antarctic.


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Ethnocentrism has always dogged geographers. Atlas Altera is written in English for those of the Anglosphere, who have generally inherited neighbouring European traditions. Here, countries and regions are rendered as if it is the tradition most familiar and accepted in practical usage by native English-speakers in Altera. Thus, the political map of Altera is rendered with exonyms, and the atlas draws deep from situated knowledges while simultaneously attempting to push the boundaries of those knowledges.

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The names of earth’s landmasses, continents, regions, and toponyms in Libya, Asea, and Erythrea were normalized by Venetian cartographers, who readily brought west maps of the south and east via their contact with the Grecians in Constantinople, a critical nexus point for trafficking things and knowledges across Borealea and Africa until the Age of Discovery. Toponyms of western continental Europea, generally corresponding to historically European Catholic areas, are derived from the naming conventions of the Dieppe school, which was influential until becoming eclipsed by the mapmakers of Antwerp. The Antwerp School made places of the Arctic and Norway known to the rest of Europea. Thus, the -ny, -land, and -ia suffixes generally correspond to these three schools of cartography influential to the English tradition.

The Dieppe School also began to incorporate the less systemic toponyms of the Spanish and Portuguese, which came out of early conquests in Septentrea and Crucea, most of which broke from the practice of naming places after native inhabitants but instead came from the Doctrine of Discovery. The Antwerp School fully normalized the practice of transliterating foreign toponyms through the lens of the regional hegemons in places where there was closer power parity between Europeans and natives, especially in Indea, Serica, and in the parts of Septentrea and Crucea that retained autonomy. The transliterations made in this time preserve the local pronunciations in the 18th and 19th centuries and may now be quite distant to the modern endonyms.

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