Friday, February 11, 2011

An introduction

At the moment there is little to reveal about the Principality of Estria (Großfürstentum Estermark / Principauté de l'Estrie / Principato dell'Estria), other than to note that the Principality is sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland to the north, Savoy and France to the west, and the Italian states to the south. The period of interest for this account is the 1760s, immediately following the Seven Years War.

However, even at this early stage, I am able to share a (low resolution) map. This 1723 chart by Ottavio Marconi of Orezzo  illustrates the duchies and grand duchies of the Principality after the adjustments of the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) and these boundaries are still appropriate for the 1760s. The Marconi map is significant because it was one of the first maps of the Principality to employ vernacular (as opposed to Latin) toponymy. It is also the earliest-known trilingual map of the Principality, showing place names in French, German and Italian, as appropriate for each duchy. In this respect, the Marconi map attests to the growing autonomy of the five Estrian duchies following the War of the Spanish Succession.

The map lacks a legend, but the roads and topographic features are self-evident.  The "town" symbols distinguish noble seats by rank/title, not by population size.

There is also no scale. The roads are awful and travel times longer than they should be, but the Principality is nevertheless fairly small.


  1. A lovely map, sir. Welcome to the 18th century.

    -- Jeff

  2. thanks. I tried using varieties of Caslon for the text, but they were all defective (no accented vowels or eszetts). Moreover, however period it might be, I do find Caslon a bit of a strain to read.