By now, most readers of this magazine should be familiar with the story of the Quinotaur, the mythical sea
beast (part-bull, part-fish) that sired the race of Merovingian kings. But what has heretofore served as the
beginning of the Merovingian saga is only part of the story. For the first part of the drama, we must go
back to the ancient sea peoples of Phoenicia.
One of the strange legends of the Phoenicians involves the disappearance of Europa, the daughter of Canaan
the son of Poseidon. In some versions of the story, Europa was a princess, in others, the daughter of
a god. She was said to be exceedingly beautiful, and her father's favorite. One day a servant came into
the palace and told Europa that a beautiful white bull had appeared mysteriously on the beach. Intrigued,
Europa went down to see the unusual creature. The bull, we are told, was indeed very beautiful, and
seemingly very tame and playful. Europa wrapped garlands of flowers around its horns, and frolicked
beside it. Encouraged by the creature's gentleness, she climbed atop it, and it ran about the beach to
her utter delight. Then, unexpectedly, the creature turned and ran toward the ocean. The servant ran
after the two, but it was no use. The bull had run into the waves and had begun to swim out to sea.
Europa's handmaiden could only watch in helpless horror as the vision of the princess disappeared off into
This same story is told by the Greeks, the only exception being that the figure of Canaan is replaced by
Aegeanor (from whose name we derive the Aegean Sea.) Perhaps the oddest aspect of this unusual story is
that historical chroniclers deny that its purely mythological. Herodotus says that the story of Europa
was based on a real incident, and that she was in fact an historical personage. Though such a claim is
certainly bizarre, it seems no less bizarre than the fact that the continent of Europe should have taken
its name from the central figure in such a story. Why name a continent after a girl associated with the
notion of being taken away by a sea bull? It only starts to make sense when one considers the story of
Europa in conjunction with the story of the Quinotaur. The tale that begins with the kidnapping of Europa
is finished by the myth of the Quinotaur, who sires a race of sacred kings. For the Greeks (and many
scholars), the sea bull of the Europa saga is seen as Zeus, the god traditionally associated with (or
personified as) a bull. But bulls were also associated with many of the gods and kings of Phoenicia and
Sumeria. In fact, the figure of the sea bull can be traced directly to the figure of Dagon, discussed
elsewhere in this issue. An alternate name of Zeus was Dyaus, and an alternate name for Dagon was Daonos.
So it would seem that Zeus and Dagon were different labels, applied by different cultures in different
times to essentially the same figure. This of course is a very common process, and one that is
encountered repeatedly in even the most superficial comparisons of one mythology to another. The kings
of the most ancient cultures in time become their gods, and repeatedly the gods of dominant cultures become
the gods of less dominant ones. So it is that the sea bull of Europa is one in the same as the Quinotaur
of the Merovingian kings, and as the Quinotaur was the legendary father of European monarchs, the mother
was Europa, after whom they named their continent.
This depiction of a "Quinotaur" was drawn by Sir Francis Dashwood, notorious founder
of the Hellfire Club, and co-conspirator of Arch-Mason, Ben Franklin. It is believed to have been drawn
on Dashwood's first trip to Italy, and based on a statue from the palace of Nero.
Canaan was a historical figure after whom the Phoenician city-state was named.