THE EUROPEAN EMBLEM IN LITERATURE
The myth of Europe and the bull is found in the oldest European literaure known, the Ilias of Homer. The myth became immortal by Ovidius in his Metamorphoses, which has been translated in all European languages and reedited up to the present third millennium. Meanwhile the tale found its apotheosis in the bucolic poem of Moschus (2nd cent.BC). It was attacked by St. Augustine; moralized by Boccaccio; mocked at by Shakespeare, Rabelais and Heine; romantizised by Ronsard, Vega Carpio, Walter Landor and Le Conte de Lisle; interpreted by Victor Hugo, Heinrich Böll, Bontempelli, Yourcenar and Kazantzakis. And there are many more.
The mythical Europe as namegiver is found in fragments of the Alexandrian Callimachus (3rd cent.BC). Horace has Venus declaring to Europe:" A part of the earth will take thy name". In the 16th century Mercator’s first Atlas confirms the naming of the continent after the beautiful princes Europe, love of Zeus. In the 19th century W.J.Cory finishes his poem on Europe: "Your name’s the name which half the world divided, henceforth shall bear."
The political interpretation of the myth is implied already in Moschos’poem. Two continents in the form of women struggle to hold princess Europe. In his laudatory Ode on Europe the French court poet P.D.E.Lebrun, pictures Europe as the love of the French Bourbon kings. The famous television and theatre performer Heinz Erhardt refers in his Zeus poem to the mythical Europe but switches midway to its political content: "How disunited Europe sound".
Do you know literary references to Europe’s myth not included in the book, plse let me know.