Earth : Sky :: Europe : Asia — Varro, On the Latin Language, Book V, 31

“Just as all of nature is divided between the heaven and the earth, so too, reflecting the regions of the sky, the earth is divided into Asia and Europe. Asia is situated near the midday sun and the south wind; Europe lies west near the Dipper and the north wind. Asia is named for the nymph whom the tradition makes the mother of Prometheus with Iapetos. Europe is named for Europa the daughter of Agenor whom, as Manlius writes, a bull forced to emigrate from Phoenicia. There’s an outstanding sculpture in bronze of these two at Tarentum by Pythagoras*”

Ut omnis natura in caelum et terram divisa est, sic caeli regionibus terra in Asiam et Europam. Asia enim iacet ad meridiem et austrum, Europa ad septemtriones et aquilonem. Asia dicta ab nympha, a qua et Iapeto traditur Prometheus. Europa ab Europa Agenoris, quam ex Phoenice, Manlius scribit taurum exportasse, quorum egregiam imaginem ex aere Pythagoras Tarenti

*Not Pythagoras of Samos the Philosopher, but Pythagoras of Rhegium.

Leave a Reply