TERRIÉIN and MUIR TORRIAN are often taken as medieval Irish terms for the Mediterranean Sea, but these actually come from the name of the Tyrrhenian Sea, a part of the Mediterranean off the western coast of Italy. In the seventeenth century, Geoffrey Keating used the phrase MUIR LÁRTHALMHAN, literally ‘the sea of middle-land’, for the Mediterranean. This was obviously based on Latin MEDITERRANEUS, which is made up of MEDIUS ‘middle’ and TERRA ‘land’. Today, the Mediterranean Sea is known in Irish as AN MHEÁNMHUIR and in Scottish Gaelic as AM MUIR MEADHANACH, both of which mean simply ‘the Middle Sea’.
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