Norway, Sweden & Finland in 37 historical maps
In the 17th century the Latin name Scandinavia appeared on maps identifying the most northern part of western Europe (Norway, Sweden and Finland). It is derived from the Proto-Germanic word skadinaujo. The second part of the word refers to the waters surrounding the region. Parts of Scandinavia 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 first separately printed maps appeared in the early 16th century. The name Norway, or its native name Norge, means the “Northern Way”. It refers to the long coastal passages from the western tip of Norway to its northernmost lands in the Arctic. The name Sweden (or Svitjod in Old Norse) means “One’s own people”. The name Finland means “Land of the Finns”. The origin of the word Finn is uncertain: it may be derived from the Proto-Germanic finne (meaning “wanderers” or “hunting-folk”). The original city of Oslo was founded in ca. 1050 by King Harald. After a fire in 1624 it was rebuilt and named Christiania (by King Christiaan IV of Denmark). In 1925 it was renamed and became the capital of Norway. The history of the city Stockholm goes back to 1252. In 1523 it became the capital of Sweden. The city Helsinki was founded in 1550 by the Swedish King Gustaaf I Wasa. In 1812 it became the capital of Finland.