That the history of Corsica has been influenced by its strategic position at the heart of the western Mediterranean and its maritime routes, only 12 kilometres from Sardinia, 50 kilometres from the Isle of Elba, 80 kilometres from the coast of Tuscany and 200 kilometres from the French port of Nice, was first proposed by the 19th-century German theorist, Friedrich Ratzel. To him is often attributed the description “mountain in the sea”. Regardless of whether he used that particular phrase the idea is expressed in his magnum opus, Anthropogeographie, which calls Corsica
Ein abgeschlossenes und eigenartiges Land, das Insel und Gebirg zugleich ….
An isolated and singular land, both island and mountain ….
and especially in his monograph on Corsica, La Corse, also published in 1899.