This shapefile represents sovereign states of Europe for the year 1500.
Sovereign states are considered as sovereign or independent states all entities fulfilling the following conditions:
a) a territory covering a geographic area,
b) an own population,
c) an authority ruling the territory and the population,
d) this authority is sovereign, i.e. not subject to any other power or state.
This layer is part of the Euratlas Georeferenced Vector Data collection that is composed of 21 maps, one for each century from year 1 to year 2000. These maps depict the detailed political situation of Europe at the first day of each centennial year C.E. from year 1 to 2000. Each map is composed of two kinds of layers: physical features layers, such as seas and rivers, and political features layers, such as states and cities. Some layers also cover adjacent portions of North Africa and the Middle East.