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Thread: Wizarding Geography

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    Wizarding Geography

    I'm sorry if this has already been posted some where =S

    Do you think Wizards have the same idea of geographical boundaries as muggles do? I was just wondering for a fic that I'm writing and I wanted a girl to be Spanish (see below question). On a seperate note(my Beauxbatons thread has been locked and I only have one question), how many wizarding schools do you think there are in Europe, would people in Spain for example be able to got to Beauxbatons? If not do you think I could change the boundaries of France slightly to include a bit of Spain?

    Totally random but I was just trying to think of a way for her to be Spanish and still go to Beauxbatons.

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    Try this thread here

    That should give you some idea, or else confuse you even more

    I don't know about European schools, but Krum is Bulgarian and I don't think Durmstrang is based in Bulgaria.

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    It would make sense that the Continent would have multiple wizarding schools. Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are merely the ones we know about. As Carole mentioned, Durmstrang likely invites students from a larger geographical area than Bulgaria, mostly due to the need for an adequate student population to make the institution feasible. The entire population of the nation of Bulgaria is roughly the same as the entire city of London. The population of the British Isles (England, Scotland, both North and South Ireland, and the Isle of Man) is approximately 67 million, and this is the sort of population density necessary to send an average of 40 magical students per year to Hogwarts. Assuming that wizarding schools have student bodies of similar size to that of Hogwarts and that the ratio of magical students to average population is relatively the same, Europe's population of about 731 million would necessitate ten or eleven wizarding schools. In all likelihood, Spain/Portugal would have its own school, and most of the students attending Beauxbatons would be from either France, southern Belgium (as French is one of their official national languages), and the far western region of Switzerland, which is largely Francophone.

    Of course, if you would REALLY like your student to go to Beauxbatons, perhaps one of the student's parents could be employed in some capacity (diplomatic relations, some sort of continental security counsel, etc...time to play!) with the Spanish Ministry of Magic and cause them to need to live in France. I doubt Beauxbatons would turn away a student whose parents live in the country a majority of the time.
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    Haha, my head is spinning. To much confusing history even for a history GCSE student like myself (although that may be down to just finishing a triple lesson of the subject after a double yesterday).
    What I did manage to understand though was that the boundaries are likely to be the same. As for schools though, do you think it's possible for Beauxbatons to accept pupils from Spain and maybe Italy or would there be another school that they would go to?

    Edit I just read Jess's post, I agree about Belgium and Switzerland wizards would go to Beauxbatons. I also want to explore the idea of the possible different schools in Europe, what countries do you think they could be in?
    ~Abi~

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    I just read Jess's post, I agree about Belgium and Switzerland wizards would go to Beauxbatons. I also want to explore the idea of the possible different schools in Europe, what countries do you think they could be in?
    Well, I would say the Germany/Poland border would be your next best bet for another school because it covers Central Europe - this accounts for those who aren't close to Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, or the school you are looking at creating in Spain/Portugal.

    Northern Italy might be your next best bet, as the population density and mountains could provide a good hiding place. Then again, that's assume they're using a castle. I've always wondered if any of the other schools take a more city-based approach and hide the school much like St. Mungo's is hidden. :P

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    Assuming that wizarding schools have student bodies of similar size to that of Hogwarts and that the ratio of magical students to average population is relatively the same, Europe's population of about 731 million would necessitate ten or eleven wizarding schools
    I just read Jess's post, I agree about Belgium and Switzerland wizards would go to Beauxbatons. I also want to explore the idea of the possible different schools in Europe, what countries do you think they could be in?
    I find this topic very interesting. One of the reasons why I love Goblet of Fire so much is because of all the international characters and the different schools. This is my idea of how it could be divided:

    - I was thinking of a German speaking school were people from Germany, Austria and the German part of Switzerland could attend.

    - A school for Latin languages , Spain, Italy, Portugal, and the Italian part of Switzerland. France and other French speaking countries would be excluded because they have Beauxbatons.

    - A Scandinavian school for Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

    - Russia could have its own school because it is so huge. Durmstrang could be in Russia now that I think about it.

    - One school for eastern Europe, for countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. Durmstrang could also be located in any of these countries, although they say in the books that is is located far north, so Russia is more likely.

    - One school for central Europe, for countries like Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    - A school for Mediterranean countries like Greece, Turkey and Georgia.

    Counting Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang (assuming it isn't located in one of the places above.) this would make a grand total of ten schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy717 View Post
    Do you think Wizards have the same idea of geographical boundaries as muggles do?

    ~Abi~
    Ah, a topic close and dear to my heart. Without rambling ad infinitum, I'll just say I firmly believe that there is no reason why magical and Muggle political geography should match – border differences are likely, and may be quite drastic.

    The reason for this is because all political boundaries have long and convoluted histories behind them, all thanks to numerous wars, partitions, plebiscites, and diplomatic hagglings. To illustrate, simply look at a map of Europe in 1815, 1914, and today. Notice the differences? Now consider that wizards have officially been living in hiding since the late 17th century. Even if we assume they were paying attention to Muggle border shifts before the Statute of Secrecy, that is still more than 300 years of magical isolation, and therefore time for wizarding geopolitics to take its own course. And what incentive would wizards have for following Muggle geopolitical trends?

    Let's look at Poland, for example. Poland was partitioned between various combinations of Prussia, Austria, and Russia on 1772, 1793, and 1795 – during the last partition, Poland ceased to exist as a independent nation entirely. Now, would Polish wizards follow this by voluntarily dissolve their government and divide themselves amongst their neighbors? No. Why should they, when the Muggle monarchies have no authority over them, and have absolutely no means of getting to them? In this situation, an independent Polish magical state would still exist. To fast forward to the present day, wizard Poland would still look very different from Muggle Poland. The current Polish borders are entirely a Soviet invention – after World War Two, the Soviet Union quite literally moved Poland westwards by grabbing the eastern half for themselves and giving the Poles the eastern third or so of Germany to compensate. This was done ignoring the contemporary linguistic and cultural geography, and as you can imagine caused quite a lot of disruption to put things mildly. As with the Partitions, what authority or capability does the Soviet Union have to impose new borders on wizards? Not much.

    And lets throw another spanner into the works. Wizards might not even have political boundaries at all! Muggles must travel physical distances to get from point A to B, but wizards can Apparate almost instantaneously, avoiding all manner of natural obstacles. Thus, a wizarding community could be spread out over a huge area, but be very close-knit by virtue of extremely efficient transportation. Wizards also have an extremely low population density. Therefore, it might be pointless for wizards to draw a line in the sand when they could freely Apparate over it, build a house on the other side, and commute 300km back to the homeland every day. So the magical polity could very well be defined not by geography, but by cultural/ethnic/linguistic factors. So rather than having a Ministry of Magic of Germany representing the territory for example, you could very well have a Ministry of Magic of the Germans, which represents all wizards who identify (and register) themselves as German. So it might not matter if these German wizards are living in Germany proper, or in East Prussia, Transylvania, or on the Volga (all areas with significant historic German populations) – they are all administered by the same magical government.

    In all likelihood, Apparation, Portkeys, and Floo might give wizards a conception of geography that is completely alien to us Muggles, which is all the more reason for political boundaries to differ from ours, if they indeed use lines in the sand to begin with.

    Tim the Enchanter

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abi
    What I did manage to understand though was that the boundaries are likely to be the same.
    It is a good assumption to make, as there is evidence in canon for this, and as you have already made your own conclusions, I don't think I will further expand on this, as it doesn't really need rediscussed.

    I am looking at my map of Medieval Europe (actually right in the time that Hogwarts would have been created), and thus I'm trying to make some ideas for you that way. Medieval Europe was built much differently. For example, there is still the Byzantine Emipre (Asia minor and Southeast Europe, basically like Turkey and Southern Italy) and the Holy Roman Empire, but at the same time, the Church isn't likely to condone the building of a wizarding school (wizards having not yet gone into hiding).

    So these are my ideas for schools:

    One inwhat is modernday Spain and Portugal (the languages being extremely similar).

    I think Beauxbatons would probably encompass what was then Burgandy, so like Luxomburg, the Netherlands (though Dutch is an INSANELY different language), Belgium, and Lorraine.

    I think there would be a school strictly for the Germanic lands.

    I like the idea of the Mediterainian school, because it would have essentially been the Byzantine Empire.

    Finally, Italy did not develop into a country of its own until very late. In fact it was still a bunch of city states during the Renaissance (I can't even spell right now...at all). Perhaps the magical communities in the city states of modern day Italy bonded to create an Italian school. Just make sure it isn't in Rome

    Hopefully this gives you some ideas for your fic!!

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    The short answer is, that it wouldn't be implausible for a Spanish girl to go to Beauxbatons - not if she's pure-blood anyway. For a Muggle-born it would be rather more difficult since Muggle Spanish schools don't require learning French - unless classes at Beauxbatons are taught in French and Spanish or there are translation charms.

    As long as you keep your system consistent, it shouldn't be much of a problem.
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