The history of the Mediterranean region is the history of the interaction of the cultures and people of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea—the central superhighway of transport, trade and cultural exchange between diverse peoples—encompassing three continents: Western Asia, North Africa, and Southern Europe. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of the land" (from medius, "middle" and terra, "land"). It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km² (965,000 sq mi), but its connection to the Atlantic (the Strait of Gibraltar) 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.
The formation of the Mediterranean Sea
Historical Atlas of the Mediterranean