Tracing the Origins of Europe, through Goddess Europa, Back to Jeroboam? Pt 2
In the ancient legend surrounding the goddess Europa, the Greeks were essentially telling the story of how Phoenicians ended up getting scattered, founding and settling, in the various western nations. Even the Greeks used the myth of Europa, beguiled by the bull-shaped god, mainly to explain the resultant colonizations.
Examine the sons of Europa – Sarpedon, Rhadamanthus, and Minos; Herodotus says that Sarpedon founded a colony at Lycia (Herodotus, " Histories" 1. 173), According to Pausanias Erythrus, a son of Rhadamanthus, founded Erythrae (Pausanias, " Description of Greece" 7.3.7), and of course Minos is responsible for Crete’s "Minoan" civilization.
Europa's brothers – Phoenix, Cilix, Cadmus, and Thasus, were sent seeking her; "Phoenix set out for Africa, and there remained. From this the Africans are called Phoenicians" (Hyginus, " Fabulae" 178. Referring to the Carthaginians?). Apollodorus relates that, hunting Europa, her kinsmen; "took up their abode in divers places; ... Cilix settled near Phoenicia, and all the country subject to himself near the river Pyramus he called Cilicia; and Cadmus and Telephassa took up their abode in Thrace, and in like manner Thasus founded a city Thasus in an island off Thrace and dwelt there." ("Library" 3.1.1).
Considering the Scriptural narrative concerning the scattering of Israel’s Ten Tribes, the Greek myth of Europa and, the ensuing accounts, describing the western migrations by her Levantine kinsmen, display remarkable historic accuracy.
Europa and the bull, by Jean-François de Troy (1716) (Wikimedia Commons)
Europa as Jeroboam
The following three secondary identifications may plausibly be concluded from the recognition of "Europa" as "Jeroboam";
1.) The Greeks first, depicted "Asia" as Europa’s rival. Moschus (2nd century BC.), said Europa dreamed two lands, depicted as women, fought to possess her. The Greeks imagined one as Asia, the other, Europe. God settled the dispute decreeing Europe should receive her ( Moschus "Europa" 8-15). Conspicuously, a King named "Asa" (abbreviated from Asayah) actually existed, as a rival monarch, at the end of Jeroboam's kingship;
"And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, reigned Asa over Judah" ( 1Ki 15:9). He was well accepted ( 1Ki 15:11) and, ruled over 40 years. Asa fought to repossess Israel ( 1Ki 15:16), even though God decreed the separation a settled matter ( 12:24). Recognizing “Jeroboam” as the eponym of “Europa,” makes “Asa” a likely candidate for the term “Asia.”
2.) The myths about King Minos resemble the story of King Manasseh (Although Manasseh's era seems too recent, it could be that the later Greeks conflated the two stories based upon the similarity of names). Particularly regarding the, Moloch-like Minotaur. Moloch was represented with the head of a bull ("Moloch" from " Encyclopedia Mythica Online"). Manasseh famously advocated sacrificing youths to him, even making "his son pass through the fire" to Moloch ( 2Ki 21:6). Ezekiel and Jeremiah underscore that God, while allowing the Israelites to defile themselves with this despicable practice, did not condone it; "And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that opens the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD" ( Ezekiel 20:26, Jeremiah 32:35).
Similarly, Apollodorus seems to excuse the Greek god from requiring this ritual, explaining that King Minos had chosen it; "The god told them to give Minos whatever retribution he should chose ... He ordered them to send seven young men and seven girls, unarmed, to be served as food to the Minotauros. ("Bibliotheca" 3. 213).
3.) Cadmus, the quintessential culture hero of the Phoenicians, can be compared to the Messianic "David My servant" of Hebrew prophecy. "Cadmus, the son of Agenor, was sent forth from Phoenicia by the king to seek out Europa, under orders either to bring him the maiden or never to come back to Phoenicia." ( Diodorus Siculus. "Library of History" Book 4.2.1). "... a root of Jesse, ... shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." ( Isaiah 11:10-12). "… David my servant shall be king over them; …" ( Ezekiel 37:21-24). Even the story of the historical King David is suspiciously similar to the "mythical" accounts of Cadmus' founding of Thebes and, his "religious reforms" as outlined in "The Bacchae" by Euripides.
Europe and the Lost Ten Tribes
One final thought; Can we deduce from the foregoing that Europe is the Lost Ten Tribes? (The argument may be made but, I refrain from doing so here.) We’ve been satisfied for ages thinking that Europe was named for the "maiden of Phoenicia" from Greek mythology, without thereby concluding that Europeans must be ethnic Phoenicians (Semitic or Hamitic). Opinions probably won’t be swayed now, into believing that they are Israelites, by merely supposing that the ultimate origin of the term "Europa" is "Jeroboam."
Featured image: The Kidnapping of Europa Mosaic, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Gaziantep, Turkey (Wikimedia Commons)