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. This layer is intended for researchers, students, and policy makers for reference and mapping purposes, and may be used for basic applications such as viewing, querying, and map output production, or to provide a basemap to support graphical overlays and analysis with other spatial data. Refer to Use Limitations in original metadata for citation instructions. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/nw638qx2453 This layer is presented in the WGS84 coordinate system for web display purposes. Downloadable data are provided in native coordinate system or projection.