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We can say that the word of overseas exists since ancient times in which the great empires conquered large tracts of land and sea. Its use began to be common in the times of the Roman Empire, one of the largest Empires in history. Coincidentally (or not so much), to cross from one end to the other of this Empire probably would, at its largest, crossing the Mediterranean Sea, so this expression would be coin to symbolize this crossing (for example if you wanted to go from the area of Gaul or current France to North Africa).
However, the use of this word became even more common when Europeans began to make journeys through not a sea but the oceans in search of a new route to the East. These overseas travels (historically known as the European overseas expansion) were that allowed that Europe is not only connected with the up to then to them unknown American continent, but which could also reach to the whole of Africa and even eventually turn around the world across all major oceans of the globe.
Article contributed by the team of collaborators.