Europa and the Bull

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Zeus changed himself into a beautiful white bull, told Europa to hop on. Zeus gave Europa 3 gifts:

Zeus also gave Europa a island, Crete.

Europa bull hg
«Europa carried away by a bull (bronze sculpture). Present given by American citizens to captain Johnssen after completing the maiden voyage of the express-steamer EUROPA in 1930. Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum, Bremerhaven, Germany» Photo by Hannes Grobe source.

Here's a description of abduction of Europa in Metamorphoses (poem) by Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD).

And gradually she lost her fear, and he
Offered his breast for her virgin caresses,
His horns for her to wind with chains of flowers
Until the princess dared to mount his back
Her pet bull's back, unwitting whom she rode.
Then — slowly, slowly down the broad, dry beach —
First in the shallow waves the great god set
His spurious hooves, then sauntered further out
'til in the open sea he bore his prize
Fear filled her heart as, gazing back, she saw
The fast receding sands. Her right hand grasped
A horn, the other lent upon his back
Her fluttering tunic floated in the breeze.
Europa on the Bull by Asteas 3wqws
“Europa on the bull” by Assteas (370-360 BC)
Talos Didrachm Phaistos obverse CdM
Winged Talos (ΤΑΛΩΝ) armed with a stone. Silver didrachma from Phaistos, Crete (ca. 300/280-270 BC), obverse. (Cabinet des Médailles, Paris)

Talos a giant automaton made of bronze to protect Europa in Crete from pirates and invaders. He circled the island's shores three times daily.

Europa and the Bull, Fresco
Pompeii, Europa and the Bull, fresco in Pompeii, 1st century AD.
Terracotta Europa bull Staatliche Antikensammlungen
Terracotta figurine from Athens, ~460 BC – 480 BC. image source
commemorative coin Italy 2005
Italian commemorative coin, 2005
Greek commemorative coin
Greek commemorative coin. http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Mythology/Europa.html
Europa on the Bull, by Carl Milles, University of Tennessee. ©.
Europa and the Bull, Strasbourg
A sculpture at Seat of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. (Photo by Elwood j blues, 2007-08) image source
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