The lands of the Mediterranean
The lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea hold a variety of countries and peoples – a true cultural potpourri. The lands of the Mediterranean Region also had their own special characteristics in antiquity. In Greece and Italy, in Egypt and the Near East, populations spoke different languages, they worshipped different gods, and they wrote in their own characteristic scripts. The archaeological and textual evidence supports these realities.
The blue Mediterranean functioned like a bridge that assembled, inspired, and connected cultures. The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that people “live around the sea like ants and frogs around a pond”.
And the sea in the center served as an important highway both for seafaring merchants and for colonists to new lands. It also hosted wars and naval battles. Some societies even claimed ownership of the Mediterranean; for instance, the Romans called it “Mare Nostrum” – our sea.