The Mediterranean Sea covers an approximate area of 2.5 million square kilometers (965,000 square miles). It is connected to the Atlantic through the strait of Gibraltar, which is only 14 km (8.7 mi) wide. The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa.
Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores. They were greatly influenced by their proximity to the sea. It provided routes for trade, colonization & war, as well as food (from fishing and the gathering of other seafood) for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate, geology, and access to the sea, cultures centered on the Mediterranean tended to have some extent of intertwined culture and history. Two of the most notable Mediterranean civilizations in classic antiquity were the Hellenic City States like Sparta and Athens and the Phoenicians, both of which extensively colonized the coastlines of the Mediterranean. The Romans who dominated the entire Mediterranean Sea for centuries called it Mare Nostrum, “our Sea”. Continue reading