Europa and the Bull
Zeus changed himself into a beautiful white bull, told Europa to hop on. Zeus gave Europa 3 gifts:
- Talos, a giant automaton (robot), protecting Europa in Crete from pirates/invaders.
- Laelaps is a dog that never fails to catch the prey!
- a javelin that never missed!
Zeus also gave Europa a island, Crete.
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.
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.
Talos is described by Greeks in two versions. In one version, Talos is a gift from Hephaestus to Minos, forged with the aid of the Cyclopes in the form of a bull. In the other version, Talos is a gift from Zeus to Europa. Or he may have been the son of Kres, the personification of Crete; in Argonautica Talos threw rocks at any approaching ship to protect his island. In the Byzantine encyclopedia called the Suda, it is said that when the Sardinians did not wish to release Talos to Minos, he heated himself – by jumping into a fire – and clasped them in his embrace.
Talos had one vein, which went from his neck to his ankle, bound shut by only one bronze nail. The Argo, transporting Jason and the Argonauts, approached Crete after obtaining the Golden Fleece. As guardian of the island, Talos kept the Argo at bay by hurling great boulders at it. According to pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheke, Talos was slain when Medea the sorceress either drove him mad with drugs, or deceived him into believing that she would make him immortal by removing the nail. In Argonautica, Medea hypnotized him from the Argo, driving him mad with the keres she raised, so that he dislodged the nail, and “the ichor ran out of him like molten lead”, exsanguinating and killing him. Peter Green, translator of Argonautica, notes that the story is somewhat reminiscent of the story regarding the heel of Achilles.
Laelaps /ˈli ˌlæps/ (Greek: Λαῖλαψ, gen.: Λαίλαπος means “hurricane”) (Lelaps, Lalaps, Lailaps) was a Greek mythological dog who never failed to catch what she was hunting. In one version of Laelaps' origin, she was a gift from Zeus to Europa. The hound was passed down to King Minos. Procris's husband, Cephalus, decided to use the hound to hunt the Teumessian fox, a fox that could never be caught. This was a paradox: a dog who always caught his prey versus a fox that could never be caught. The chase went on until Zeus, perplexed by their contradictory fates, turned both to stone and cast them into the stars as the constellations Canis Major (Laelaps) and Canis Minor (the Teumessian fox).