Historical region

Historical regions (or historical countries) are delimitations of geographic areas for studying and analysing social development of period-specific cultures without any reference to contemporary political, economic or social organisations.[1]

The fundamental principle underlying this view is that older political and mental structures exist which exercise greater influence on the spatial-social identity of individuals than is understood by the contemporary world, bound to and often blinded by its own worldview - e.g. the focus on the nation-state.[2]

Definitions of regions vary,[3] and regions can include macroregions such as Europe, territories of traditional states, or smaller microregional areas. A geographic proximity is the often required precondition for emergence of a regional identity.[3] In Europe the regional identities are often derived from the Migration Period, but for the contemporary perspective are related to the 1918-1920 time of territorial transformation, and another in the post-Cold War period.[4]

Some regions are entirely invented, such as the Middle East in 1902 by a military strategist, Alfred Thayer Mahan, to refer to the area of the Persian Gulf.[5]


  1. p.332, Kotlyakov, Komarova (entry 2781)
  2. p.151, Tägil
  3. 1 2 xiii, Tägil
  4. p.82. Lehti, Smith
  5. p.65, Lewis, Wigen

Further reading

See also

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