Q:

Why was Europe named after Europa?

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Quick Answer

In Cretan and Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician woman of high birth who was abducted by Zeus and carried off to the northwest of Crete. The continent of Europe, therefore, was the place traditionally associated with the myth of Europa.

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Full Answer

The first known reference to Europa in print appears in Homer's "The Illiad." In the poem, Europa is identified only as a member of Cretan royalty with no particular geographical associations. The first occurrence of the name being used to refer to the continent of Europe appears in the works of Anaximander and Hecataeus from the 6th Century B.C. In the following century, both Herodotus and the Romans are known to have made references to the term.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big is Europe compared to other continents?

    A:

    Europe is the second smallest continent, with an area of 3,937,083 square miles. While Australia is the smallest of the seven continents with an area of 3,132,061 square miles, Antarctica is the third smallest continent having an area of 5,100,023 square miles. With an area of 17,173,438 square miles, Asia is the largest continent.

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  • Q:

    What is the name of the biggest Greek island?

    A:

    Crete is the largest island of Greece. Crete has a long and narrow shape, spanning a total distance of 160 miles across the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of 13 islands comprising the nation of Greece, and goes by other names, including Krete, Kriti, Creta, Kirid and Candia.

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  • Q:

    How far away from the sun is Jupiter's moon Europa?

    A:

    Jupiter's moon Europa is located approximately 485 million miles from the sun, although the distance varies based on the locations of Jupiter and Europa on their orbits. Europa is located about 414,000 miles from Jupiter and orbits the planet ever 3 ½ days.

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  • Q:

    What is Europa's distance from the sun?

    A:

    Europa is one of Jupiter's four large moons, and its distance from the sun is always the same as Jupiter's, plus or minus the radius of Europa's orbit. Depending upon its position in orbit, Europa is 779.4 million to 780.6 million kilometers from the sun.

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