Redrawing the Map of Wizarding Europe

by hpboy13

There has been considerable speculation about where Newt and company may end up in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts as fans look for clues buried in Jo’s tweets. I, too, was dwelling on this, when I came to an important realization: The political boundaries will be different in the wizarding world than they are in ours. Think about it: If the wizards severed ties with the Muggles in 1692 when the Statute of Secrecy was enacted, there’s every reason to assume that they wouldn’t keep up with Muggle politics. So I thought I’d take a look at what the wizarding world’s map looks like.

Before we begin, a few disclaimers. First, I am only going to write about Europe. Judging by the sloppiness of “History of Magic in North America,” Rowling can’t be bothered to so much as open Wikipedia when writing about parts of the world she’s unfamiliar with. So trying to make sense of the HP canon for other continents would be a fool’s errand since odds are Rowling never bothered to make it make sense.

Second, I am not a history major. I enjoy history and have done a fair bit of traveling across Western Europe. But I can’t know the intricacies of European geopolitics and preemptively apologize for any mistakes or insensitivities in this article. The US education system is no help whatsoever: I never had a geography class in my life, and our coverage of European history is very piecemeal. (There is literally no mention of Russia until the Russian Revolution in 1917; Scandinavian countries don’t get mentioned at all, and anything east of Germany isn’t brought up until an Iron Curtain descends over it.) Quite frankly, I would love it if someone more well versed in such topics would either tell me where I went wrong or use this as a jumping-off point for their own analysis. But I’ll give it my best shot, armed with the best information Wikipedia can provide.

Our biggest clue that things are different in the wizarding world comes from Goblet of Fire, when Charlie says that England lost to Transylvania (63). In 1994, Transylvania is definitely no longer a country – in fact, the last time it was an independent country was 1867, when it was absorbed into the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So we can at least know that wizarding borders are not kept wholly up-to-date with Muggle ones (which, let’s be honest, is probably sensible given how often our borders change).

But we know that wizards’ borders have definitely changed since the Statute of Secrecy due to some of the countries that participate in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup: Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, and Luxembourg all became countries toward the end of the 19th century.

It would appear to me that the wizards more or less kept up with changes in Muggle borders up to a point (with a few key exceptions) but then stopped. My theory is that the wizarding world gave up adjusting its borders after World War I, when the map of Europe was completely redrawn. Consider that none of the countries that became sovereign states after World War I are ever mentioned in canon: Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Yugoslavia are not mentioned once in canon or apocrypha.

However, Albania is mentioned frequently in the books, given that’s where Vapormort set up shop for a decade. Of the European countries mentioned in the canon that don’t come with asterisks, Albania was the last to gain its independence (declared in 1912, recognized in 1913). So now we have a firm timeline: The wizards kept up with Europe’s shifting borders until World War I, then threw up their hands and decided to stick with their current borders.

This gels with a tidbit we received from Pottermore, which seems to indicate wizards were pursuing an isolationist policy around that time: “In post during the Muggle First World War, [British Minister of Magic Archer] Evermonde passed emergency legislation forbidding witches and wizards to get involved, lest they risk mass infractions of the International Statute of Secrecy.

On the upside, this means that the borders in place during the Fantastic Beasts movies are the same ones in effect in the HP books. So what are we working with?

Here is a handy map of Europe in 1914.

 

 

Let’s look at this more closely. Western Europe is largely unchanged today from the nineteenth century, so that checks out: Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK are all in place. We know that microstates such as Andorra and Liechtenstein are also recognized in the wizarding world.¹ There’s no mention in canon of Belgium or the Netherlands, but Luxembourg has a team in the 1994 Quidditch World Cup, so presumably, all three countries of BeNeLux have identical borders in the wizarding world. And Germany doesn’t extend quite so far east in the wizarding world but is definitely a recognized country (also per the 2014 QWC).

The only major difference is that Iceland (which is never mentioned in the canon) is still part of Denmark since it would not become independent until 1918.

Heading east is when things get messy. Austria is never mentioned in canon, but Hungary is, most notably by lending its name to the Hungarian Horntail. Perhaps Austria-Hungary is simply known as Hungary in the wizarding world; either way, I don’t believe their borders extend quite so far south or east either.

Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey are all similarly unchanged when looking at wizarding borders. But Romania’s borders will look very different and Russia’s even more so. Montenegro and Serbia are never mentioned to my knowledge, but we might as well assume they’re there.

So now that we’ve discussed what’s the same as the Muggle 1914 map, let’s talk about what’s different and why.

 

Lithuania and Poland

Among the countries that did not (re)gain their independence until World War I are Lithuania and Poland, but both of these are mentioned in canon. Poland participates in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup; Lithuania is mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages as the home of the Gorodok Gargoyles Quidditch team (46). So why do they exist in the wizarding world, but the other Baltic states don’t?

I think it’s because their sovereignty was left over from the 18th century when they were united under a common monarch as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. For the 16th and 17th centuries, this was the largest state in Europe, and it boggles my mind that I graduated from college without ever hearing the term “Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth” in my life. Anyway, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland were united for a long time as a powerful political force, until 1795, when the Commonwealth was divvied up among its neighbors.² Lithuania and Poland had their own magical governments (which were still separate despite the union of the two countries, perhaps like the different countries of the UK).

It would appear that the Lithuanian and Polish Ministries of Magic did not take to the idea of their countries being absorbed into others and kept their old magical borders as is. And unless something major happened in the last century that Professor Binns really should have told us about, I’m guessing that Lithuania’s and Poland’s borders today look remarkably like they did in the 18th century. That means that wizarding Lithuania includes present-day Belarus, another country that is never mentioned in canon. It also suggests that wizarding Poland would include a significant chunk of Ukraine… but we will discuss Ukraine a little later.

 

The Ottoman Empire

We are left with three European countries that are mentioned in the canon but are not on the 1914 map of Europe: Ukraine (home of the Ironbellies), Moldova (winners of the 2010 World Cup), and Transylvania (as previously mentioned). And what do they all have in common?

They were all vassal states of the Ottoman Empire; it would appear that those vassal states maintained their independent wizarding governments. This makes sense since these countries were mostly autonomous, just recognizing the Ottomans’ suzerainty.

Transylvania was the Ottomans’ vassal state until 1867, when it was subsumed into the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This area later became part of present-day Romania but evidently not in the wizarding world, where wizarding Transylvania remained independent rather than joining Austria-Hungary.

Other vassal states included Moldovia and Wallachia. In 1866, the two united into Romania, though a chunk of Moldovia was taken over by Russia and recently became the independent country of Moldova. If I had to guess, wizarding Moldova probably contains most of what used to be Moldovia, and Wallachia just eventually renamed itself Romania to avoid confusion for Muggle-borns. So wizarding Romania is much smaller than Muggle Romania! Muggle Romania actually has three distinct wizarding countries within it: Romania, Moldova, and Transylvania.

Another independent vassal state of the Ottomans was Ragusa, a city-state in present-day Croatia. Ragusa was autonomous until the beginning of the 19th century, when it was conquered by Napoleonic Italy and then made part of the Hapsburg Empire (later Austria-Hungary). While there’s no mention of it in canon, since the evidence points to the Ottomans’ vassal states still being political entities in the wizarding world, it’s probable that there is still a wizarding Ragusa.

 

Ukraine

By far the most complicated political boundary in the wizarding world is Ukraine’s. We know that Ukraine is an entity in the wizarding world and likely has been for some time, due to the naming of the Ukrainian Ironbelly. But the history of Ukraine is such a muddled mess that we now venture even further into the realm of guesswork. My family is actually from Ukraine, and even I don’t have that firm a grasp of our history.

In very simplistic terms, the territory of present-day Ukraine was conquered and fought over and annexed by pretty much every major Eastern European power of the last millennium. At different points, it was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ottoman Empire, and the Hapsburg Empire, before finally ending up as part of Russia until 1990. Making it worse, one of the most contentious times was the end of the 17th century (just as the Statute of Secrecy was enacted), when Poland and Russia were fighting over Ukraine just as it was trying to become independent.

Most of present-day Ukraine was part of the Cossack Hetmanate (a.k.a. the Zaporizhian Sich) at the end of the 17th century, which was more or less autonomous for a couple of decades between being part of Poland and part of Russia. (The area was already referred to as “Ukraine” back then, though unofficially.) Depending on how feisty the Ukrainian wizards were circa 1708, it’s possible that the wizarding Cossack Hetmanate remained an independent country even as their Muggle counterparts were overrun by various superpowers. (Also, I would totally read a history book about this wizarding Ukraine; it sounds awesome!)

But there’s another theory because there’s one important vassal state of the Ottoman Empire I’ve yet to mention: the Crimean Khanate. This existed around current-day Crimea, whose borders are still changing in the present day as Russia and Ukraine duke it out over the peninsula. The Crimean Khanate was an autonomous vassal state of the Ottomans until 1783, when it was annexed by Russia. But as we’ve been discussing, the wizarding governments of these vassal states were not amenable to being annexed and usually maintained their independence.

Technically, the Crimean Khanate could be considered wizarding Ukraine, if the Cossack Hetmanate was dismantled in the wizarding world as it was in the Muggle world. Or I consider it more likely that both are independent wizarding countries – a wizarding Ukraine and a wizarding Crimea.

 

Wizarding Eastern Europe

Whew, that was a lot of history and geography to get through. And of course, this is assuming that wizard governments don’t go to war with each other or combine multiple states into one government or anything like that. But the map of the wizarding world will be shaped by Lithuania, Poland, and the former Ottoman vassal states stubbornly maintaining their independence even as the Muggle world’s boundaries kept shifting. So to wrap up, here are all the wizarding countries east of Germany and their present-day Muggle equivalents where they differ:

  • Albania
  • Bulgaria
  • Crimea (parts of Muggle Russia/Ukraine)
  • Greece
  • Hungary (includes several Muggle countries: Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia)
  • Lithuania (includes Muggle Belarus)
  • Moldova (Muggle Moldova and part of Muggle Romania)
  • Montenegro
  • Poland (may include bits of Muggle Ukraine)
  • Ragusa (part of Muggle Croatia)
  • Romania (only the part that was formerly Wallachia)
  • Russia (includes several Muggle countries: Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Russia)
  • Serbia (includes Muggle Macedonia)
  • Transylvania (part of Muggle Romania)
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine (not all of Muggle Ukraine, just the parts that were in Cossack Hetmanate)

It makes for quite a different map than the one Muggles currently use! I wish I were a skilled enough cartographer to make a visual representation of this, but we’ll have to stick with our imaginations.

 

Magical Education

While this will open up a whole other can of worms, one has to wonder where the wizards of all these countries get educated. Hogwarts only serves the UK. According to Pottermore, Beauxbatons educates the students of France, Portugal, Spain, and the countries of BeNeLux. I’d venture a guess that the Swiss students who speak French would also attend.

That leaves all of the above-mentioned countries, as well as the Scandinavian countries, Germany, and Italy, to be divvied up by Durmstrang and Koldovstoretz. Unless, of course, there are more schools in Europe that we don’t know about. Since Koldovstoretz is in Russia, let us assume the Russian wizards go there for an education. And unless wizarding politics gets thorny between the countries, it’s probable that Crimean, Lithuanian, and Ukrainian wizards go there too, due to geographic proximity and the similarity of language. Possibly Moldova is also included.

That leaves all the remaining countries to either attend Durmstrang or figure something else out. We know that Bulgarians attend the school (Krum and the school’s founder, Nerida Vulchanova). Since it’s far to the north, and Jo has said in an interview it’s in Norway or Sweden, we can assume the Scandinavian wizards also attend.³

Scandinavia to Bulgaria is quite a stretch of land, which includes a smorgasbord of countries in between. One has to wonder what the language situation would be since most of the countries involved have their own language and even different alphabets (some Latin and some Cyrillic). This is one of those things I’d love to pick Jo’s brain on!

Anyway, this has been a fun (and very educational) exercise. I look forward to being corrected on my history and geography in the comments, and I can’t wait to explore more of the wizarding world beyond the borders of Britain!


¹Mr. Crouch mentions the Andorran Ministry of Magic (GoF 556); Liechtenstein boycotts the International Confederation of Wizards (OotP 725) and plays in the 2014 Quidditch World Cup.

²It was split among Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

³There are some implications in the text that the school is Russian – the cold, the north, and Igor Karkaroff’s name. But if Koldovstoretz is canon, then it seems implausible that Russia would have two wizarding schools, which places Durmstrang in Scandinavia.


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  • travellinginabluebox

    WOW. This has been an awesome and well researched article. Loved it.

    First of all, I am shocked once more about the American school system. No geography?! But let’s leave that as it is. Because even though I am from Germany, (and yes we do have geography) we barely cover history outside of Mid-Western Europe. We do bits of English, American and Australian history in English classes, but other than that we mostly cover German history. I believe that is because of the Cold War… So yes, I learned a great deal in this article too.

    As to your deduction, that the wizarding world map of Europe has its basis on the 1914 muggle map of Europe, I can only agree. Europe is a mess when it comes to borders. Too many kings and emperors have changed the borders over time. Which is why a lot of people in nowadays Poland still speak German etc. So taking 1914 as a base is a good idea.

    I have my problems with the very few big wizarding schools. Yes it makes sense for Hogwarts being the school for the British Islands. It also makes sense to have one school for North America. The rest. Nope. One school for Africa?! There are so many different tribal languages in Africa, that this would sound amazingly difficult to me. But ok, let’s assume Rowling doesn’t care about countries and languages outside of Europe much.

    But three schools for mainland Europe? That really doesn’t work out. Starting with Beauxbatons. Anyone who has ever been to France will know that the French people hate other languages and rarely speak anything else than French. I know the younger generations are opening up more now, but still, the whole culture of France is very, very French centric. And Beaubatons being in France, Fleur Delacour and Madama Maxime being French characters, I always assumed they speak French there. Having the BeNeLux attend would make sense as a lot of them speak French, but not all of them! However, adding Spain and Portugal, is not making any sense to me. Yes all the languages are latin based, but unless the school teaches in Latin (which would makes sense) I don’t see it.

    Durmstrang is even more troublesome. We know they have Bulgarian students as well as Grindelwald, who is probably a German speaker, attending. So we can only assume that there is either some ancient magic within Durmstrang castle that let’s people understand everything or this is just impossible.
    Another thing, regarding this: Krum states that Hogwarts is much bigger of an castle than Durmstrang (at the Yule ball in GoF). But we can savely assume that if half or Europe attends Durmstrag that they would have more pupils than Hogwarts. But this could be Rowling’s lack of maths striking again.

    Many problems indeed… Thanks again for a great article! I’d love to discuss this with you in person, but alas a comment is all I can send here 😉

    • Hey, thanks for the really thorough comment!

      Re: the base of 1914, I admit that was not my original theory. When I set out to write the article, I thought the basis would be in 1692, when the muggle and wizarding worlds separated. But as I went through the countries one by one, I saw that plenty of the ones that had sprung into being at the end of the nineteenth century were still around. First, I began trying to explain each of them away, similar to what I did here with Poland and Lithuania, but it got to be somewhat ridiculous… so, y’know, Occam’s Razor.

      Regarding Beauxbatons, I think it’s plausible, even if it’d be difficult to have all those countries together. As a European, you know that it’s entirely common for people there to be bilingual or trilingual, so the Portuguese wizards could learn Spanish and so on. Also, if the school is bigger than Hogwarts, then they might have more than one professor per subject, and could divvy up the classes based on language. (Heck, maybe that’s how students are separated there instead of by House.)

      Durmstrang is the one that is really a puzzle. Just because we know that Bulgarians attend and founded it, but it’s in Scandinavia, which are literally the opposite north-south ends of Europe. And there are soooo many countries and languages in between. Unless there’s some reason Bulgaria finds itself having a special connection with Scandinavia, that would explain why Bulgarians go there but the rest of Eastern Europe doesn’t? Curiouser and curiouser.

      In terms of numbers, it makes sense to have so few schools considering how few wizards there are. For example, the population that Beauxbatons serves is roughly double that of Hogwarts, so the school would be twice as big. Even one school for Eastern Europe would make sense, though it’d be big. The population there is roughly eight times that of the UK, so each year would have about 300 students. Which is considered positively tiny by New York City standards (I was in a graduating class of 800, and that was average). But that population is broken up into so many countries, each with five or six students per year, but each with its own language… Perhaps, as you say, there is a translation spell on Durmstrang at large!

      And if you want to chat in person (or at least via Skype), then check out my Patreon! [end of shameless plug] Thanks for reading!

      • Dagmar Diwok

        Well researched and interesting! Thank you! The division of Romania makes a lot of sense, since also magical traditions in Transylvania and Walachia are completely different. Also, original Transylvanians are more often German and Hungarian speakers than Romanian ones.

        Regarding the schools, I have often thought about that too. German wizards could easily go to Beauxbatons, as particularly in the last centuries, every halfway educated German learned French, only after WWII English has become universally the first language. In Italy too, until 30 yeas ago, French was learned before English. Therefore, it would make sense that they all went there, if it was big enough.

        • travellinginabluebox

          Oh nice comment about the languages. I didn’t even think about that. If the countries are based on 1914 why not base the languages people learn and speak on that same time period. This would definitely solve a lot of the issues I have with Durmstrang.

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    I would note that the Republic of Ireland is independent in the muggle world while it seems to be part of the UK in Rowling’s world (another example of not fully considering ethno-political issues properly); While there is a separate Quidditch team the Irish team is represented by Fudge at the World Cup as opposed to an Irish PM its also mentioned that Ireland and Great Britain are handled by the same sports office in the Ministry of Magic…
    The biggest question will always be to figure out the actual population of wizards… Demographically its just mad to think that there is only one school for the UK (as well as apparently Ireland which again is not in the muggle UK) thats 70 million muggles and with one school no matter how big we imagine it is cant have more than a thousand or two students.
    A quick bit of research shows that usually one school accounts for about 16-20,000 people. But even if we are being flexible and accept that not all kids necessarily go to Hogwarts and are homeschooled etc we still only get a reasonable estimate of a Wizard population of 100,000 people which is about 0.14% of the combined population of the UK and Republic of Ireland.

    So taking into account that the Wizard population seems to be drastically less than the muggle population, it does seem reasonable that the Irish wizard community figured it best not to cut ties as harshly as the Muggle Ireland did and that could be reflected elsewhere I suppose.

    Its hard to imagine a country like Andorra or Luxembourg or Albania or Moldova survive with a population of even 1% of their muggle counterparts…

  • ILoveLunaLoveGood

    as for Durmstrang and Eastern Europe; while slavic languages are closely related and it is therefore within the realms of possibiltiy that the Slavic sphere from Poland including Ukraine down through Czech/Slovakia – Slovenia/Serbia/Croatia/Bosnia/Bulgaria etc its hard to imagine how the Baltic and Scandanavian countries fare… If the Russian school caters for the more slavic elements it still leaves a tricky language barrier with Lithuanian v Latvian v Estonian v Finnish v Swedish/Norwegian/Danish/German etc being tricky…

  • Wizzie

    Hi everyone, it’s my first time commenting on a HP forum, though I’ve been lurking on those for some time. Though most of the topics I’d like to comment upon have already been broached, this one feels fresh and barely touched upon. I’m also not a historian, but let me try this. I also need to say sorry for the long post in advance.

    First of all, hpboy13, thanks for opening a debate on this topic, and for mapping out the wisarding world in western Europe, it is pretty much straight-forward. Then, I imagine that Czech (or Czechoslovakia) would be a wizarding country of its own, and always has been, given that it had only got under Austrian rule in the 16th century and had still kept some sort of autonomy within the Empire. This I would say is true also for Poland, Transylvania, Wallachia, Moldova, and scandinavian countries – all these had strong medieval states with tradition of witchcraft noted in historical sources (Cracow University, for instance, keeps records of witch burning in 15th century, while 14th century Prague was home of many alchymists). Yet, the cases of Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania, are not that straight-forward – though their medieval and early-modern states were also recognised, these were very often short-lived and interrupted by many changes, but I would say they managed to keep their magical sovereignty over the many centuries of Ottoman rule (their boundaries, especially Bulgaria’s being somehow disputable though). In this group I would also mention Armenia and Georgia, both old states and cultures.

    Although its boundaries are not really problematic, Greece would also be a wizarding state for longer than its liberation in 1821, mainly thanks to the influence of Greek language and culture. I’d also venture a guess that Greek would be as important as the language of magic and spells (and magical learning) in eastern Europe, as Latin is in western Europe. As huge medieval and early-modern empires go, I’d imagine that Ottoman, Byzantine, Austrian, and Roman Empire would be succeeded by magical Turkey, Greece, Austria, and Italy respectively, with their linguistic, cultural, and ethnic borders varying only slightly.

    Secondly, in order to understand eastern Europe more thoroughly (I’m deliberately using lowercase W and E, because I see these territories as geographical regions rather than political/social entities or concepts), we cannot stay within the boundaries of Europe, and need to include at least some Middle-Eastern history and geography. While the pre- and post-WWI theory may explain most of the wizarding countries away, I don’t know what to make of Assyria (Neville’s Mimbletonia in OOTP), the scenarios being that it is either (1) a wizarding country still in the 20th century (as opposed to muggle Assyria, which vanishes after 600 BC), or (2) it is divided among several wizarding countries (according to contemporary muggle geography), but has remained an important historical region in the minds of wizards, with little or no wizarding sovereignty. Both scenarios would for then give precedence for the existence of ancient (wizarding and muggle) states, such as Macedonia, or historical regions with small autonomy (ruled by a wizarding cancel, which answers to the nearest Ministry of magic, for instance), such as Illyria, which would be quite interesting to follow. In spite of the many ethnic, linguistic, and cultural changes that took place in this region (most of which is primarily Slavic today), I could imagine that Macedonia would (annexed by the Romans after 168 BC, reappearing under same name on European map only in 1991), for instance, survive all those centuries of mixed muggle rules and bloody encounters. Illyria could, for instance, be known as the historical region nowadays divided among muggle and magical Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia. The region itself is highly magical – ancient Macedonian kings are often involved in interactions with sorcerers, the Illyrian coast is the setting of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Ss. Cyril and Methodius from Salonica are said to have translated the Bible into Old Slavonic in just 60 days (possible magic involvement there, no?), the legend of vampires as we know them seems to have been based on local incidents in this region prior to its popularisation in Western Europe, and of course, the Veela is a staple of Slavic folk tales (stunningly pretty girl who entices shepherds and lumberjacks and sometimes kills them, rides deers, and has healing powers). The magical history of south-east Europe would make an interesting story, or a great essay, don’t you think? But, to get closer to HP cannon again, I could imagine some wizards going on holiday to Illyria as some sort of historical county while actually travelling through wizarding Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We know that wizards are not as geography-minded as muggles, after all.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment, guys, but I had to get this out :).

  • Wizzie

    Hi everyone,
    it’s my first time commenting on a HP forum, though I’ve been lurking on those for some time. Though most of the topics I’d like to comment upon have already been broached, this one feels fresh and barely touched upon. I’m also not a historian, but let me try this. I also need to say sorry for the long post in advance.

    First of all, hpboy13, thanks for opening a debate on this topic, and for mapping out the wisarding world in western Europe, it is pretty much straight-forward. Then, I imagine that Czech (or Czechoslovakia) would be a wizarding country of its own, and always has been, given that it had only got under Austrian rule in the 16th century and had still kept some sort of autonomy within the Empire. This I would say is true also for Poland, Transylvania, Wallachia, Moldova, and scandinavian countries – all these had strong medieval states with tradition of witchcraft noted in historical sources (Cracow University, for instance, keeps records of witch burning in 15th century, while 14th century Prague was home of many alchymists). Yet, the cases of Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania, are not that straight-forward – though their medieval and early-modern states were also recognised, these were very often short-lived and interrupted by many changes, but I would say they managed to keep their magical sovereignty over the many centuries of Ottoman rule (their boundaries, especially Bulgaria’s being somehow disputable though). In this group I would also mention Armenia and Georgia, both old states and cultures.

    Although its boundaries are not really problematic, Greece would also be a wizarding state for longer than its liberation in 1821, mainly thanks to the influence of Greek language and culture. I’d also venture a guess that Greek would be as important as the language of magic and spells (and magical learning) in eastern Europe, as Latin is in western Europe. As huge medieval and early-modern empires go, I’d imagine that Ottoman, Byzantine, Austrian, and Roman Empire would be succeeded by magical Turkey, Greece, Austria, and Italy respectively, with their linguistic, cultural, and ethnic borders varying only slightly.

    Secondly, in order to understand eastern Europe more thoroughly (I’m deliberately using lowercase W and E, because I see these territories as geographical regions rather than political/social entities or concepts), we cannot stay within the boundaries of Europe, and need to include at least some Middle-Eastern history and geography. While the pre- and post-WWI theory may explain most of the wizarding countries away, I don’t know what to make of Assyria (Neville’s Mimbletonia in OOTP), the scenarios being that it is either (1) a wizarding country still in the 20th century (as opposed to muggle Assyria, which vanishes after 600 BC), or (2) it is divided among several wizarding countries (according to contemporary muggle geography), but has remained an important historical region in the minds of wizards, with little or no wizarding sovereignty. Both scenarios would for then give precedence for the existence of ancient (wizarding and muggle) states, such as Macedonia, or historical regions with small autonomy (ruled by a wizarding cancel, which answers to the nearest Ministry of magic, for instance), such as Illyria, which would be quite interesting to follow. In spite of the many ethnic, linguistic, and cultural changes that took place in this region (most of which is primarily Slavic today), I could imagine that Macedonia would (annexed by the Romans after 168 BC, reappearing under same name on European map only in 1991), for instance, survive all those centuries of mixed muggle rules and bloody encounters. Illyria could, for instance, be known as the historical region nowadays divided among muggle and magical Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovenia. The region itself is highly magical – ancient Macedonian kings are often involved in interactions with sorcerers, the Illyrian coast is the setting of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Ss. Cyril and Methodius from Salonica are said to have translated the Bible into Old Slavonic in just 60 days (possible magic involvement there, no?), the legend of vampires as we know them seems to have been based on local incidents in this region prior to its popularisation in Western Europe, and of course, the Veela is a staple of Slavic folk tales (stunningly pretty girl who entices shepherds and lumberjacks and sometimes kills them, rides deers, and has healing powers). The magical history of south-east Europe would make an interesting story, or a great essay, don’t you think? But, to get closer to HP cannon again, I could imagine some wizards going on holiday to Illyria as some sort of historical county while actually travelling through wizarding Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We know that wizards are not as geography-minded as muggles, after all.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment, guys, but I had to get this out :).

  • Piotrek T D Wójcik

    In Poland probably school situated on Łysa Góra 😛