How did Europe get its name?

Though the origin of the name Europe is not known for certain, the name is very old.

A Greek hymn to Apollo from the sixth century B.C. mentions the name, which originally applied only to part of the Balkan Peninsula.

Europe probably derives from a word meaning “mainland,” though it may be related to the Assyrian ereb, “darkness, west,” and therefore “land of the setting sun.”

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