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CaptionOvid's Metamorphoses tells us of Europa the beautiful daughter of the Phoenician king of Tyre Agenor. Zeus the King of the gods according to Greek mythology saw Europa as she was gathering flowers by the sea and immediately fell in love with her. Appearing to her as a tame magnificent white bull Zeus gently entices Europa onto his back and then suddenly carries her into the sea abducting her to the island of Crete. There Zeus cast off the shape of the white bull and back into his human form made Europa his lover beneath a simple cypress tree. Europa became the first queen of Crete and had by Zeus three sons: King Minos of Crete King Rhadamanthus of the Cyclades Islands and according to some legends Prince Sarpedon of Lycia. The Rape of Europa [ pl. 21 from the series Ovid*s Metamorphoses 17th century Etching] Antonio Tempesta artist Italian 1555 - 1630 Iupiter tauri imagine Europam rapit She later married the king of Crete who adopted her sons and she was worshiped under the name of Hellotis in Crete. At last Zeus reproduced the shape of the white bull used by Zeus to seduce Europa in the stars. Even today we can recognize its shape in the constellation Taurus.
HeadlineEuropa and the bull
Copyright NoticePompeii fresco

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Europa-Bull.JPG 17 Kb 11/30/2005 866 0.00 (0 votes)

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