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COLUMBEA

TYPES OF EXONYMS

SOUTH SEPTENTREA

Midway between the continents of Septentrea and Crucea lies the region of Columbea consists of a drastic narrowing of land to a  isthmus and a series of major and minor islands. For millennia, the region was a conduit for the movement of crops and peoples from one end of Gemina to the other. It was also the gravitational centre of material wealth and sophistication in all the landmass. For despite having a technological disadvantage when the Spanish first arrived in the region, Columbea boasted the largest city in the world at the time, Tenochtitlan, known to outsiders as Tenochila.

The source of Europea's wealth, Columbea suffered immensely during the Age of Exploration, when Europeans established plantation economies in virtually all its islands and coasts to supplant their dependence on the Emporic spice trade. Despite slavery and mass settlement having a profound impact in the region, Columbea remains as the most densely populated native area of both sides of Gemina, where a high degree of linguistic diversity persists and where the Toltec religion, despite being quite influenced by Catholicism, emerged more consolidated in the wake of colonialism as a counter-culture.

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ON TOPONYMS

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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TYPES OF EXONYMS

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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