DSC 1487 (1)-002

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes.The rape of Europa (El rapto de Europa), 1772

The whole myth began with Eros firing off one of his arrows. The arrow hit Zeus who saw a princess named Europa and immediately fell in love with her. Unsure how to get to the princess with her handmaiden's around, Zeus took the form of a tame White Bull and approached them all. The handmaidens were afraid but Europa was not. To show she was not going to be harmed, Europa mounted the Bull (Zeus). As soon as she was on his back Zeus ran to the sea and swam to the island of Crete. Once at Crete Zeus revealed his true form and made love to Europa. Europa would become the first queen of Crete.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.