Queen Europe / Europa Regina
Our name Europa Regina refers to the rich history and mythological world of Europe. Originally told to explain the mysteries of the world -such as creation, divine will, fertility, death, and love- myths are a major part of many cultures throughout the world, and each area has its own myths.
Europa Regina (Latin for Queen Europe) is the map-like depiction of the European continent as a queen. Introduced and made popular during the mannerist period, Europe is shown standing upright with the Iberian Peninsula forming her crowned head, and Bohemia her heart.
During the European Middle Ages, maps typically adhered to the Jerusalem-centered T-O scheme, depicting Europe, Asia and Africa. Separate maps of Europe were extremely rare; the only known examples are a map from Lambert of Saint-Omer’s Liber Floridus, published in 1112, and a 14th-century Byzantine map. The next Europe-focussed map was published by cartographer Johannes Putsch in 1537, at the beginning of the Early Modern Age.
The Putsch-map was the first to depict Europe as an Europa regina, with the European regions forming a female human shape with crown, sceptre and globus cruciger. The map was first printed by Calvinist Christian Wechel. Though much about the origination and initial perception of this map is uncertain, it is known that Putsch (whose name was Latinized as Johannes Bucius Aenicola, 1516-1542) maintained close relations with Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I of Habsburg, and that the map’s popularity increased significantly during the second half of the 16th century. The modern term Europa regina was not yet used by Putsch’s contemporaries, who instead used the Latin phrase Europa in forma virginis (“Europe in the shape of a maiden”).
In 1587, Jan Bußemaker published a copper engraving by Matthias Quad, showing an adaptation of Putsch’s Europa regina, as “Europae descriptio”. Since 1588, another adaption was included in all subsequent editions of Sebastian Münster’s “Cosmographia”, earlier editions had it only sometimes included. Heinrich Bünting’s “Itenerarium sacrae scripturae”, which had a map of Europe with female features included in its 1582 edition, switched to Europa regina in its 1589 edition. Based on these and other examples, the year 1587 marks the point when many publications began adopting the imagery of Europa regina.
Source of inspiration: European unity
These old artistic 16th century maps of a Queen of Europe, which for the first time in history symbolize a European unity, have been the source of inspiration for our name.
The foundation of European culture was laid by the Greeks, strengthened by the Romans, stabilized by Christianity, reformed and modernized by the fifteenth-century Renaissance and Reformation and globalized by successive European empires between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Thus the European Culture developed into a very complex phenomenon of wider range of philosophy, Christian and secular humanism, rational way of life and logical thinking developed through a long age of change and formation with the experiments of enlightenment, naturalism, romanticism, science, democracy, and socialism.
In Greek mythology Europa was a Phoenician woman of high lineage, from whom the name of the continent Europe has ultimately been taken. The name Europa occurs in Hesiod’s long list of daughters of primordial Oceanus and Tethys. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story; as Kerényi points out “most of the love-stories concerning Zeus originated from more ancient tales describing his marriages with goddesses. This can especially be said of the story of Europa”.
A number of symbols of Europe have emerged throughout history. Depending on the symbol, they can apply to Europe as a whole, European unity or merely to the European Union (EU).