The Aegean Sea (; (ギリシア語:Αιγαίο Πέλαγος) ; (トルコ語:Ege Denizi) (:e̞ɟe̞ de̞n̪iz̪i)) is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus. The Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes.
The sea was traditionally known as ''Archipelago'' (in Greek, ''Αρχιπέλαγος'', meaning "chief sea"), but in English this word's meaning has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally, to any island group.
In ancient times, there were various explanations for the name ''Aegean''. It was said to have been named after the Greek town of Aegae, or after Aegea, a queen of the Amazons who died in the sea, or Aigaion, the "sea goat", another name of Briareus, one of the archaic Hecatonchires, or, especially among the Athenians, Aegeus, the father of Theseus, who drowned himself in the sea when he thought his son had died.
A possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word ' – ''aiges'' = "''waves''" (Hesychius of Alexandria; metaphorical use of (''aix'') "goat"), hence "wavy sea", cf. also (aigialos = aiges ''(waves)'' + hals ''(sea)''),〔Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, ''A Greek-English Lexicon'', s.v. ("αἰγιαλός" )〕 hence meaning "sea-shore".
The Venetians, who dominated many Greek islands in the High and Late Middle Ages, popularized the name ''Archipelago'' (Greek for "main sea" or "chief sea"), a name that held on in many European countries until the early modern period.
In some South Slavic languages the Aegean is often called ''White Sea'' (Бело море, ''Belo more'' in Serbian and Macedonian and Бяло море ''Byalo more'' in Bulgarian).〔Zbornik Matice srpske za društvene nauke: (1961), Volumes 28-31, (p.74 ) 〕
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