How Did Europe Get Its Name?

did-europe-its-name Credit: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images News/Getty Images

While some people believe that the origins of the name "Europe" can be traced back to the Greek myth of Zeus and Europa, there is a centuries-old lack of consensus on this topic. Even the ancient Greek historian Herodotus seemed unsure of how Europe got its name, though he did doubt that the story of Zeus and Europa was the answer.

Other theories of the origin of Europe's name include a Greek phrase describing the breadth of Europe's shorelines as well as a Phoenician word referring to Europe as the place where the sun sets. Overall, the origin of Europe's name has long been a mystery, and it has been difficult for scholars to find an exact answer.