Spain in 42 historical maps
On ancient maps the Latin name Iberia is used to identify the Spanish peninsula (Spain and Portugal). It is derived from the Greek word Iberes, meaning “the Celtic people of Spain”. But it may also refer to the river Ebro in Spain. The name Spain (España) is derived from the Roman name Hispania. Most likely it refers to Spain lying at the end or western edge of the Mediterranean region. (In classical times this was the known world.) It may be evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning “city of the western world”. It may also be evolved from the Greek term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a “land of the setting sun” or “western land” and Spain, lying still further west, as Hesperia ultima. Spain and Portugal were already described by Ptolemy in his Geographia (150AD). The accompanying maps were worked out again by European cartographers at the end of the 15th century. The coastline was drawn in more detail on 14th century Portolan charts (nautical maps). The first separately printed maps appeared in the 16th century. The history of Madrid, the capital city of Spain, goes back to 939AD. In 1038 a charter was granted to the city. Since about 1560 it became the political center of Spain.