Thursday, November 1, 2012

Europa and Cadmus

Europa was a princess of Tyre. Jupiter tricked her, took her to Crete, then seduced her. She gave birth to Minos. The continent of Europe was named after her. Minoan civilization was named after her son.

When news of Europa’s abduction reached her father, he sent his son Cadmus to find her and to bring her home. Finding her on Crete beloved of Jupiter, Cadmus sought the advice of the oracle at Delphi. She told him to forget about his sister and pursue a new quest.

The oracle told him to follow a nearby cow until it came to rest. At that place he was to start a city. This he did. He named the city Thebes in honor of the Egyptian city of the same name which his father had started.

As king of Thebes, Cadmus introduced the Phoenician alphabet to his subjects and, through them, to Greece and beyond. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, this happened around the year 2000 BC.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.