Germany in 40 historical maps
The name Germany and other similar names are all derived from the Latin word Germania. Julius Caesar was the first to use the word Germanus in his writings when describing tribes in north-eastern Gaul (region stretching out from present-day France). However, its origin remains uncertain. A number of (German) historians suggest that the word has Celtic roots. E.g. it may be derived from: gair (neighbour), gar ("noisy", referring to the tribesman) or hari ("man at arms"). In English-speaking regions, the word German first appeared in about1520, replacing earlier uses of Alman and Dutch. Germany was 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. It is also depicted on the Mappa Mundi during the middle ages. The first printed separate maps of the country appeared in the early 16th century. The history of the city Berlin dates back to ca. 1240. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, leading to the unification of West- and East Germany, it became the capital of Germany.