Map #54: August 28, 2017

Difficulty Level: 8

Click here for a full-size version of this week’s map.

This map is a dot map of Europe, plus parts of North Africa and the Middle East. (Do you need a refresher on what a dot map is? Visit our “Basics” page for a quick primer.) Some of the dots on this map overlap in places where there are a lot of dots, which makes it difficult to tell exactly what’s where. But don’t dispair—you can still get a good feel for the general distribution of dots. This map should be complete (in other words, there shouldn’t be any missing dots that it would be possible to add). A few particular dots could be moved around a bit; we’ll talk about why in due course. As always, your job is to figure out what this dot map represents.

Stumped? Check back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for hints about where to focus your investigation. The answer will be posted on Monday, September 4. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: One thing you may have noticed while exploring this map is that several of the dots correspond to the locations of famous battles. The dot in northern France is on the location of the Battle of Agincourt. The dot on the Ionian coast of Greece is on the location of the Battle of Actium. You can also find dots marking the battlefields of the Battle of Philippi, the Battle of Barnet, and the Trojan War.

Wednesday’s hint: Aside from a few exceptions, you can break down the dots on this map into three categories. First, you have lots of dots on Great Britain and in parts of northern France under English control during the Hundred Years' War. Second, there are lots of dots in Italy. And third, there are lots of dots around the eastern Mediterranean in places that were part of the Greco-Roman world. Those three general categories—medieval England, Renaissance Italy, and the ancient Greek and Roman empires—account for the vast majority of the dots on this map.

Thursday’s hint: It may be useful to know which particular Italian places are represented on this map. In the north, there are dots on the cities of Venice, Verona, Padua, Mantua, Milan, and Florence. In the center are the cities of Rome and Anzio as well as the site of an ancient city called Corioli. In the south, you’ll find the city of Miseno on the Bay of Naples. And on the island of Sicily, one dot represents the city of Messina, while the other simply refers generically to another Sicilian city whose name we do not know. Ideally, there should be one additional dot...but we don’t know where to put it.

Friday’s hint: Somebody who submitted a correct answer for five points on Monday noted that this is a map where “just one dot can tell almost the whole story”—that is, if you know which dot to focus on. In this case, the most helpful dot is the lone one in Denmark, right on the northern part of the Øresund. The dot represents Kronborg Castle in the town of Helsingør. You might know that fortress better as “Elsinore.”

Answer: Click here to see an explanation of the answer to this week’s map question.

Next map: Click here to try out our newest map question.