The relaxing and healing effect of water has been recognized and utilized through for centuries; and multiple studies have found that living close to a “blue space” – a sea, a river, a lake, or even a canal if you like, has positive impact on our well-being.
A walk along the beach or near a river, contemplating the waves and the water flowing, calms the mind and regulates our breathing and could be viewed as a meditation in its own right.
And naturally, people show strong preference, if given the chance, to maritime real estate properties.
The word maritime derives from Latin. The classical Latin etymon maritimus consists of mare (sea), stemming from Proto-Indo-European root mori (body of water), and the superlative suffix -timus, denotes ‘close relation with.’ Therefore, simply put, maritime means ‘related to or near the sea.’
The term entered the English language circa 16th century as a loanword from Middle French and with the meaning of ‘a fighting force intended for service at sea.’
The first use of the word maritime in an English text dates as early as 1550 and is to be found in J. Coke’s The debate between the heralds of England and France where the author describes how in 1386 the Earl of Arundel captured fifty ships of the combined Flemish and French fleet: “Earl of Arundel..wt a puissant army maritime destroyed..all the navy of Flanders.”
The first usage of the term to mean ‘a place: bordering the sea or a person living near or by the sea’ comes from 1606, from Thomas Palmer’s An essay of the means how to make our trauailes, into foreign countries, the more profitable and honourable: “If the Country be maritime, and joining to the sea…”
Maritime history covers the complex and diverse relationships between the humankind and the sea, including a variety of maritime-related sciences, exploration, economics and law.
And while Maritime law, also known as Admiralty law, is among the oldest known bodies of law, it was introduced into England at only the end of the 12th century by the French Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine while she was acting as regent for her son, King Richard the Lionheart. During one of the early crusades, in her travels to the eastern Mediterranean, she become acquainted with the Rhodian law – which had governed commerce in that part of the world from as early as the first century A.D. – to use its principals as the basis for maritime law in England.
She had earlier established admiralty law on the island of Oleron, published as the Rolls of Oleron, and the first recorded use of the phrase comes in regard to the island, famous for the maritime law. Samuel Clarke’s A New Description of the World (1682): “The Isle of Oleron, is situated against the French Province of Xaintoigne, South of the Isle of Rhee, famous for the Maritime Laws; established here by Richard King of England.”
Maritime in also used in terms of climate, influenced by the sea, oceanic as opposed to continental, “Maritime places..have a more equal temperature..than more inland or continental places.” (Chambers’s Encyclopaedia, 1878).
There is a region in Eastern Canada, called The Maritimes, and located along the Atlantic coast, though ironically despite its name, the region characterises with more of a continental climate.