Ethnographic Map of the Balkan Peninsula


The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War I transformed the political organization of the Balkans. The war had started in the Balkans with the assassination of the Habsburg Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a militant Bosnian Serb seeking independence for his country from the dual empire. Jovan Cvijić, the author of this “ethnographic map” of the Balkans, published in 1918 by the American Geographical Society of New York, was a professor of geography at the University of Belgrade. Cvijić completed his doctorate at the University of Vienna in the 1890s on geological formations and physical geomorphology, but his interests later shifted to “anthropogeographical” research analyzing the geographical influences on ethnic and cultural dynamics in the Balkan Peninsula. Cvijić’s map is a testament to the ethnic, religious, and national diversity of the Balkans, but it provides little sense of the demographic damage that the war wreaked on the peninsula, where an estimated one-quarter of the prewar populations of Serbia and Montenegro were killed, one of the highest casualty rates of any combatant country.

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Publication Information

American Geographical Society of New York, New York


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Physical Description

1 color map ; 42 x 50 centimeters


  • Scale 1:3,000,000

Last updated: November 14, 2017