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The geographical name, in its Greek form Αἰθιοπία, indeed first appears in Classical sources, in which it refers to the regions south of Egypt and Libya. It appears twice in the Iliad and three times in the Odyssey.[1] The Greek historian Herodotus specifically uses it to describe the Upper Nile region,[2] an area including Sudan and (in principle) modern Ethiopia.

Ethiopia in the myth of Andromeda Edit

Due to the conflicting nature of ancient texts--compounded by Herodotus' use of the word "Ethiopian" to describe dark-skinned people of varied locales, including such geographically disparate regions as Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern India,[3]--researchers offer competing potential locations for mythological Ethiopia. For example, it is occasionally posited that Ethiopia, referred to in the myth of Andromeda, was actually a kingdom based at Joppa in Phoenicia.Template:Citation needed Cepheus and Cassiopeia the parents of Andromeda, are presented as the king and queen of Joppa; and, Andromeda was chained to rocks in the sea off the Levantine coast. This interpretation is supported by Pliny the Elder's 1st Century observation of a tradition, in Joppa, that associated a rock off the coast of Israel with the mythical rock of Andromeda.[4] However, contrary to this notion, is legend that Perseus's "return flight" took him "above the sands of Libya"[5]--which could not have occurred if, in fact, Joppa was the location of mythological Ethiopia.

Greek and medieval literature Edit

Several notable personalities in Greek and medieval literature were identified as Ethiopian, including several rulers, male and female: Memnon, who may have been the King of Persia and Ethiopia in Africa, whose capital was Susa, and his brother Emathion, King of Arabia. Homer in his description of the Trojan War mentions several other Ethiopians, including Epaphus and Phineus. Ptolemy the geographer and other ancient Greek commentators believed that the Ethiopian Olympus of Kilimanjaro was where the gods lived when they were not in Greece.

See alsoEdit

References Edit

  1. Histories, book 2, chapters 29 and 146; book 3 chapter 17 Odyssey, book 1, lines 22-23; book 4, line 84
  2. Histories, II, 29-30; III, 114; IV, 197
  3. Histories, IV, 70
  4. Template:Cite book
  5. Argonautica, IV.

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ca:Etiòpia (mitologia) et:Aethiopia fr:Éthiopiens (mythologie grecque) ru:Эфиопы (мифология) sr:Етиопија (митологија) sv:Etiopien (mytologisk plats)

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