The Abduction of Europa by Rembrandt, 1632 (Wikimedia Commons)

Tracing the Origins of Europe, through Goddess Europa, Back to Jeroboam?

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The usual derivation of the term Europe recalls the Greek myth of Europa. This origin is no mystery, in fact the Euro, their official coin, depicts the famous virgin seated on her bull-god. A popular etiology but, in my view, totally unsatisfying. A true origin cannot be traced to a myth. Surely, an actual event spawned the myth.

Euro coin depicting a scene from a mosaic in Sparta (third century AD), showing Europa being abducted by Zeus, who has taken the form of a bull.

Euro coin depicting a scene from a mosaic in Sparta (third century AD), showing Europa being abducted by Zeus, who has taken the form of a bull. ( eurocoins.co.uk)

Herodotus (450 BC.) suspected a truth behind it. He assumed Europa really lived but, her story was allegorical; the bull-god actually represented her Cretan kidnappers (Herodotus "Histories" Book 1. 2 ). However, it could be that the maiden was the allegory. We know that "Phoenicians" worshiped the bull-god "El." And at least one "Phoenician" nation really did use an allegorical "Virgin" as their symbolic figurehead. The “Virgin of Israel” ( Jeremiah 18:13 , Amos 5:2 ).

Nations as virgins

Israelites commonly symbolized nations as virgins. Isaiah alludes to the "Virgin Daughter Sidon" (23:12), and the "Virgin Daughter Babylon" ( 47:1), Jeremiah uses ”O virgin, the daughter of Egypt” ( 46:11). European nations continue this practice today. Rome, founded by Romulus, has a figurative female personification called "Roma," Britain, founded by Brutus (its first king in the " Historia Britonum "), has Britannia, and  America, a European colony discovered by Columbus, has its "Columbia." Conforming to the pattern, the founder of Israel’s Northern Ten Tribes was named "Jeroboam" (“yarobh`am”; The Septuagint has "Hieroboam," from; " International Standard Bible Encyclopedia ". 'JEROBOAM'".).

Origin of the name Europa

"Europa" is a very plausible feminized Greek transliteration of his name (compare "Hieropolis," "Jerablus" and "Europos," all transliterations for the same alternate name for "Carchemish."). Furthermore, Greek mythology didn't use the term "Israel" and, neither do the Scriptures use "Phoenicia" although, both terms described the "land of Canaan." Israel was reckoned "from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates" ( Genesis 15:18 ), and specifically; "behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession" ( Deuteronomy 32:49 ). Consequently, the Greek “Phoenicia” could have included Israel, just as the Scriptural “Israel” encompassed Phoenicia.

Map by Fredericus de Wit with a personification of Europa (Wikimedia Commons)

Map by Fredericus de Wit with a personification of Europa ( Wikimedia Commons )

Jeroboam and the loss of ‘The Virgin of Israel’

The Hebrews blamed Jeroboam for the loss of "The Virgin of Israel" (The Northern Ten Tribes) among the nations. He committed a famous sin (mentioned over 20 times in the Scriptures) – he promoted the adoration of God in bull form. “So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said '... Behold your gods, O Israel ...” ( 1Ki 12:28-30 ). "And the Lord ... tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam ... king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam" ( 2Ki 17:20-22 ). God took credit for the removal of Northern Israel saying; ”this thing is from me.” ( 1Ki 12:24 ). “He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them, ... because of the sins of Jeroboam” ( 1Ki 14:15,16 ). Therefore, Greek references to the "Maiden of Phoenicia" (as carried away adoring the bull-god and lost among the nations), by a feminized version of the name "Jeroboam," appears as a perfectly logical usage.

Europa riding a bull, depicted in a fresco at Pompeii (Wikimedia Commons)

Europa riding a bull, depicted in a fresco at Pompeii ( Wikimedia Commons )

The ‘myth’ of Europa

The ‘myth’ of Europa is much better known (regrettably) than the story of the lost Ten Tribes. Many Greek myths and, modern accounts of it circulate. The history of  Israel’s lost tribes, arguably a main theme of the Bible, is a bit more difficult to ascertain. It can be discovered however, without too much of a Biblical study, in five main components;

1.) God favors Jeroboam and personally intercedes to arrange for the ten tribes to secede from Judah ( 1Ki 11:30-38 ).

2.) There's an initial struggle between Judah and Israel over the possession of the "Virgin" ( 1Ki 12:21-24 ), until God steps in and decides the issue in favor of the separation.

3.) Jeroboam institutes the adoration of God in the form of a bullock ( 1Ki 12:28-30 ).

4.) The "Virgin" gets "carried away" ( 1Ch 5:26 ) and is lost, "scattered" amongst the nations ( Ezekiel 36:19 ).

Comments

Phoenicia was lebanon. And israel is forcibly in palestine.

IronicLyricist's picture

it  certainly sounds like a valid hypothesis.. but does anyone have an accurate dating for the creation of these greek myths that keep being associated with biblical stories? if indeed the bible story came first then it would grant more validity.. like a previous article associating sampson n the foxes with canis major n minor and sampson himself with heracles.. but no mention is made of the DATES!

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth

Consider this quote from Herodotus; "but whence the several gods had their birth, or whether they all were from the beginning, and of what form they are, they did not learn till yesterday, as it were, or the day before: for Hesiod and Homer I suppose were four hundred years before my time and not more, and these are they who made a theogony for the Hellenes and gave the titles to the gods and distributed to them honours and arts, and set forth their forms: but the poets who are said to have been before these men were really in my opinion after them." ("The History of Herodotus" 2.53). Now Herodotus lived around 450 BC. And, by his best guess the origins of Greek mythology was no earlier that about 850 BC. 100 years after King Jeroboam had lived. However of the Greek mythographers, whose works have come down to us, were even more recent and, lived after 650 BC.

Modern historians who believe that the "age of Greek Mythology" ran from about 1500 BC. Through about 1200 BC. Are relying on a hypothesized 500 year "Dark Age" for which they can cite no history, and of which the ancient historians make no mention. However most will admit that the myths were not "written" (The Alphabet, brought by Cadmus, himself a character from the Europa myth, has been dated to about 750 BC.) until after the Kingdom of Israel existed.

IronicLyricist's picture

thank you muchly salverda.. then that does give credence to the theory posited in these articles.. it seems like history keeps getting passed down and rewritten from culture to culture

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth

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