By Denis Guénoun
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Additional resources for About Europe : philosophical hypotheses
And so it is with all other peoples. 15 Thanks to the “learned Public,” which controls the chain of transmission that enables ancient histories to reach us, every kind of knowledge is available, and this chain starts in Greece. —only thanks to its translation into Greek during Roman times that the Bible enters our history. Translation makes for a well-established 12 Europe Crossways (ausgemittelt) beginning (Anfang). It lays out and establishes the beginning in the middle (ausgemittelt). To translate is to transmit; the beginning is (in) the change of space and languages.
One either knows nothing of that name and its provenance, or else—which in a way amounts to the same thing—the name derives from the Tyrian Europē. Now, this woman was first of all born in Tyre—therefore, at the time of the birth, the land of Europe had no name; second, Tyre is in Asia, therefore Europe is an Asian woman, and the name of Europe does not come from Europe properly speaking, as name-of-a-land-area; and third, Europe never came to Europe (to the “continent”), going only as far as Crete.
The present (the flower basket) stems from this union (when she entered “the bed”). Then the abduction occurs. Zeus appears suddenly, in the shape of a bull. An extraordinary power of seduction emanates from him, literally. This is not a bull that “feeds in the stall,”38 and his “coming terrified not the maidens, nay, within them all wakened desire to draw nigh the lovely bull, and to touch him, and his heavenly fragrance was scattered afar, exceeding even the sweet perfume of the meadows” (p. 193).