Geographically speaking, the eastern Mediterranean is one of the most complex regions in the world. It has been inhabited by various ethnic groups since time immemorial and constituted a core region of at least three great empires, the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Several towns and villages have been identified with various names throughout the centuries. Although more stabilized from the sixteenth-century onward, only in the early twentieth century place names, and terminology in general, becomes unified in the writings of travelers. The variations of place names every traveler/author provides have been carefully recorded, but for reasons of consistency we have followed contemporary criteria to index the information.

The only exception is the "Ottoman Empire," an entry that encompasses all the general information the travelers included in their accounts upon their arrival into the Ottoman realm. For reasons of clarity, all other the modifications proposed here are attuned with The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names