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The Nuttall Encyclopedia
So called by the ancients as lying in the presumed middle of the earth surrounded by Europe, Asia, and Africa; the largest enclosed sea in the world; its communication with the Atlantic is Gibraltar Strait, 9 m. wide; it communicates with the Black Sea through the Dardanelles, and in 1869 a canal through the isthmus of Suez connected it with the Red Sea, 2200 m. long by 100 to 600 m. broad; its S. shores are regular; the N. has many gulfs, and two great inlets, the Ægean and Adriatic Seas; the Balearic Isles, Corsica, and Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus, and Crete, the Ionian Isles, and the Archipelago are the chief islands; the Rhône, Po, and Nile the chief rivers that discharge into it; a ridge between Sicily and Cape Bon divides it into two great basins; it is practically tideless, and salter than the Atlantic; its waters too are warm; northerly winds prevail in the E. with certain regular variations; the surrounding territories are the richest in the world, and the greatest movements in civilisation and art have taken place around it in Africa, Phoenicia, Carthage, Greece, and Rome.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Mediterranean Sea'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/m/mediterranean-sea.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.