The Seduction of Europa

When Zeus fell in love with The Europa, the only daughter of Agenores, a shepherd in the Canaan land, he instructed Hermes to push Agenores’s cattle to a seashore near Tiro, where Europa and her friends used to go for a walk. Zeus himself mixed in the herd in the shape of a bull as white as the snow, with a strong chest and two little gem-like horns. Europa was struck by the beauty of the bull and, since he was as meek as a lamb, she started playing with him placing flowers in his mouth and hanging up garlands to his horns; at last she jumped on his back and rode to the seashore. All of a sudden the bull threw himself in the waves and started swimming; dismayed Europa, the right hand gripping the bull's horn and the left a full basket of flowers, stared at the shore turning her head until it disappeared. When they arrived on a beach near Gortys, Zeus turned into an eagle and mated with Europa under an evergreen plane-tree. Europa gave birth to three children: Minos, Rhadamantys and Sarpedon.

Chania (Hania)|Heraklion (Iraklion)|Rethymnon|Lasithi