EUROPA

alaskaman53

Joined August 2008

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Europa (Greek Εὐρώπη) was a Phoenician woman of high lineage in Greek mythology, from whom the name of the continent Europe has ultimately been taken. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story, as Kerényi points out; “most of the love-stories concerning Zeus originated from more ancient tales describing his marriages with goddesses. This can especially be said of the story of Europa.”1 The name Europa occurs in the list of daughters of primordial Oceanus and Tethys; the daughter of the earth-giant Tityas and mother of Euphemus by Poseidon, was also named Europa.

Europa’s earliest literary reference is in the Iliad, which is commonly dated to the late 9th or to the 8th century BC2. Another early reference to her is in a fragment of the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, discovered at Oxyrhyncus3. The earliest vase-painting securely identifiable as Europa, dates mid-seventh century BC

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