Daniel Cain discovered a copy of the first map of the Lower Danube islands dated at the end of 19th century. The original map goes back to 1830 when a Mixed Commission drew the boundary along the Danube between the Ottoman Empire and Wallachia and Moldavia.
The geography of the Lower Danube appeared strange and “uncivilised” for the West at the time, in the words of historian Joanne Yao:
“This uncivilized geography was dangerous not only because it threatened European trade, but also because the river threatened to flow backwards, bringing irrationality to the heart of Europe.
In the 18th century, German Romantic poet Friedrich Hölderlin wrote that the Danube flowed backwards — a theme echoed by Martin Heidegger and modern Romanian poets. Indeed, unlike most rivers, the mile markers on the Danube began at the delta and increased upriver, and apart from the German Swabians, who headed downriver in the mid-18th century, trade, ideas and conquering armies have almost always flowed upriver”
(‘Conquest from barbarism’: The Danube Commission, international order and the control of nature as a Standard of Civilization, 2019)
Source featured image: Arhivele Naționale ale Bulgariei (Central State Archives) – ЦДА, ф. 176к, оп.21, а.е. 959
Insule în arhive
Daniel Cain a descoperit o copie realizată la sfârșitul secolului XIX dupa prima hartă a insulelor de pe Dunare, din 1830. Harta a fost întocmită de comisia mixtă care a delimitat insulele de pe Dunăre, între Imperiul Otoman și Principatеlе Țara Românească și Moldova (Valahia si Moldova).
Sursă: Arhivele Naționale ale Bulgariei – ЦДА, ф. 176к, оп.21, а.е. 959