LH reader kattullus sent me a link to this post at strange maps: it reproduces an amazing 18th-century map by Gottfried Hensel (the post says 1730, but other sources say 1741) that shows Europe divided into linguistic areas, with the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer in each. It doesn’t reflect the situation at any one period, but in general it’s antiquarian (England is shown with Anglo-Saxon and the south of Spain with Arabic); “Russica” is actually a variant of the Church Slavic version (which you can see correctly written here), and above it is one of the strangest features of the map, an area labeled “Nova Zemblicæ” (‘Nova Zemblan’) with a different variant of Church Slavic. If anyone knows what’s going on there, I’d love to hear about it.
The map is one of a set of four, the other three showing Asia, the Americas, and Africa; you can see them all at this page (in Ukrainian), but the first two aren’t available in quite as much detail (and Africa isn’t enlarged at all)—enough, though, to see that the ugly Chinese characters were written by someone with no idea of how to do it! (Also, what the heck are those squiggles in Japan?) I would love to see a thorough analysis of all four maps, and I find it hard to believe there’s never been one. The comments at strange maps discuss the differences between the texts on the map and those in use today, which is handy.
While I’m sending you to strange maps, check out the previous post on a map that “render[s] each country in a size corresponding to the number of languages spoken in it.”