The Cradle of Europe

Europe is currently in search of a new identity. There is talk of multicultural societies, the Judeo-Christian West or the green continent. Yet none of these directions knows how to take a look at the past, at the cradle of this continent.

According to classical Greek mythology, Europa was the daughter of Agenor (according to Homer’s version, his granddaughter), who was king of the Phoenicians. He is said to have lived in what is now Lebanon, in Sidon or Tyros, the two ancient trading cities of the Phoenicians. As is well known, Zeus fell in love with them and abducted them across the Mediterranean to a foreign and barbaric part of the world, which from then on was called Europe.

The reference to the Judeo-Christian Occident also points to the importance of the southern Mediterranean for the European continent. Abraham, the progenitor of the three great monotheistic religions, came from the Mesopotanian city of Ur in present-day Iraq. Judaism arose in what is still the Holy Land, and Christianity was initially a local variety of this religion. Paul spread the new faith to Europe, and the Catholic Church draws its legitimacy from this era to this day. Later, it was Augustine, the greatest theologian of Christianity and intellectual father of Western Europe, the Europe of Catholics and Protestants, who came from what is now Algeria and first had to enter Italy.

Conservative Europeans often do not like these lines of development, they prefer to look for the roots of our culture in the European heroic sagas, while leftists prefer to emphasise those aspects that negate the exclusivity of European culture, that is, that can no longer make a difference between Western and other cultures of this world. Both tendencies cause great damage, as will become clear.

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