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, Canada and the United States.
For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated,
the Atlas gives you "The Tawny One", derived from Arab. es-sahra the fawn coloured, desert.
The 'True Names' of 3000 cities, countries, rivers, oceans and mountain ranges
are displayed on these four 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 Tolkiens The Lord of the Rings are played out.
Middle Earths evocative Midgewater, Dead Marshes and Mount Doom
are strikingly similar in nature to Europes Swirlwater, Darkford or Smoky Bay,
as revealed by the Atlas of True Names.
Many geographical names are clearly rooted in Mans 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 Monsters 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 Fearsome.
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!
Not all translations are definitive.
The reader may be offered a number of possible alternatives,
or the translation may be prefixed by possibly or probably.
Please accept the Atlas of True Names
just as an invitation to the world as a strange, romantic continent.