Friday, 18 May 2018

Europa

In Greek mythology, Europa was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman with Phoenician origin of high lineage, and after whom the continent Europe was named. She was abducted by Zeus in the form of a white bull.
Europa's earliest literary reference is in the Iliad, which is commonly dated to the 8th century BC. Zeus was enamored with Europa and decided to seduce and ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.