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An impressive array of major and minor island chains, Sumatrea is itself a giant archipelago that, for millennia, acted as both a bridge and chasm for human migration and the spread of flora and fauna. The region's fertile volcanic highlands, dense jungles, and harbour-laden coasts, shot through the tropical zone of the globe, boasts a high degree of ecological diversity, which in turn is the reason why Sumatrea came to offer some of the most sought-after and rare spices and luxury goods for the Emporic Rim trade.

Before the maritime Austronesian peoples became predominant in much of the region, Sumatrea was like Tamirea in being populated with peoples that were genetically quite distinct from the rest of Ecumina. These peoples remain the majority in the east, in Papua, the Rovianas, and the Solomas, where traits like blondism, which evolved here separately than in Europea, continue to be common, and which is also where linguistic diversity is highest in the world.


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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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