Europe – What’s in a name?

Peter H. Gommers (Author),

Series: History 5

Category: History, History 1800-present

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058671493

Publication date: September 18, 2001

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Size: 285 x 225 x mm

Stock item: 45785

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Europe is a word that is almost daily on our lips. But how far do we have to go back in order to find the origins of its name?

The first part of this beautiful illustrated book traces the geographical and mythological basis of Europe’s name.

Who came up with the idea to distinguish the world in continents with proper names? The search will bring the reader back to the early history of mankind. How did the ancient Egyptians see the world and populations around them? Where did the Hebrews get the idea to split the world in three? And what was the world-picture in ancient Greece, laid down in geographic treatises and fragments?

Where did the name ‘Europe’ originate from? Could it be from a person, either mortal or divine? In ancient Greek literature the name ‘Europa’ appears quite frequently for Greek goddesses and Greek women. Strangely enough, the best known Europa myth concerns a Phoenician princess, loved by the Greek god Zeus. Many mythographs doubt the Asian descent of the Phoenician Europa. Is her real origin to be located on mainland Greece? How can the contradicting Greek myths be interpreted, and was the name universally accepted as the name for the continent?

In the second part of this book, the author tells the amazing story of how the Arts have treated the Europa myths for almost three millennia. He shows the extraordinary influence of the personification of the geographic continent Europe on literature, music, sculpture, painting, tapestry and other applied arts.

All this clearly demonstrates the vivid interest in Europe for the subject throughout the ages and illustrates, according to Karel van Miert in its Foreword, our common European culture.


Europe’s name: The Geographical and Mythological Basis

Europe – Its name in Geography

Europe – A Person?

The Origin of Continents – Their names

    • Introduction
      The name Europe in the 15th and 16th Centuries
      The name Europe in the Middle Ages
      The name Europe and the Arabs
      The name Europe in Byzantium
      The name Europe and the Romans
      The name Europe in Greek Antiquity
      The name Europe in Ancient Egypt and Asia

    • Introduction
      The Oldest European Civilizations
      Mortal or Divine?
      The Handling Down of the Greek Mythos
      The Phoenician Europa – a Historical Person?
      Family of the Phoenician Europa
      Special Features of the Phoenician Europa Myth
      Deification of the Phoenician Princess?
      Other, Greek Europa’s
      A Common Background for Different Europa’s
      Greek Opinions about a Namegiver

    • The Concept of the Continents
      Continents and their Names

Europa and the Arts

The Middle Ages
The Renaissance
From Baroque to Enlightenment
From Romanticism to Modern Times

Index of Mortals and Immortals
Geographical Index

Peter H. Gommers

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