The New Student's Reference Work/Black Sea
Black Sea or Euxine, meaning “hospitable,” is an inland sea lying between Europe and Asia. Its greatest length is 720 miles, its greatest breadth 380 miles, and it covers 163,711 square miles or, including the Sea of Azov, 172,500 miles. It is thus more than five times as large as Lake Superior. Its depth in the center is over a thousand fathoms. It is connected with the Sea of Azov on the northeast, and flows into the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmora and the Dardanelles. Many large rivers flow into it, and it drains nearly one-quarter of the surface of Europe, besides a large area of Asia. There is only one island in it, the Adassi or Isle of Serpents, opposite the mouths of the Danube. There are many important ports along the coast, such as Kustendji, Odessa, Trebizond and Sebastopol. In summer navigation is safe and easy; but in winter, when the sea is closed on every side, conflicting winds rage over it, and short but terrible storms are frequent. There is no tide, but the large rivers flowing into it give rise to currents. The sea has been known and navigated from a very early period. For many years it was under the control of Turkey alone, but now both Russia and Turkey maintain fleets in its waters, and it is open to the commerce of all nations.