Europe - the mythology of Ancient Greece

Europe - the mythology of Ancient Greece
Europe - the mythology of Ancient Greece

Rembrandt, Guido Reni, Titian, Paolo Veronese, Francois Boucher, Valentin Serov… The list seems to be endless. "What can unite these great artists?" - you ask. Only one thing - the kidnapping of Europe…

europe mythology

Dream the night before

Once upon a time, a beautiful Europe - a Phoenician princess - had an amazing dream. She stands with her head bowed, and in front of her are two women. They are having a heated argument about something. Words cannot be deciphered. She listens and understands that one of them is called Azil (Asia), and she is her mother. She nurtured and raised her, therefore she has the right to live with her beautiful daughter. But the second, suspicious stranger, does not retreat, and resolutely declares that Europe (ancient Greek mythology) will be presented to her by the supreme god himself - Zeus, and she will be called by her name.

A young maiden woke up in horror: what is the hidden meaning of the dream? And that hour she went to pray, humbly asking the gods to protect her from possible misfortunes…


Time has passed. Europe (mythology) dressed in purple and gold clothes and went for a walk with her friends to the seashore. There, in the rich thick green flowering meadows,the beautiful maidens of Sidon were picking flowers. Bright violets, delicate lilies, snow-white daffodils - what was not in their golden baskets. Agenor's daughter was not inferior to them either in beauty or in dexterity, and on the contrary, like Aphrodite, she shone with her splendor and grace. In her basket, she only had scarlet roses…

Having picked flowers, they easily, with a laugh, joined hands and began, stamping, to dance. Their cheerful young voices were carried by the wind far, far away: over the fields, and over the meadows, and over the blue sea. It seemed that they drowned out and filled the whole space with themselves. The son of Crone, the mighty Zeus, could not help but hear them…

telefassa and tefida

Abduction of Europa

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge bull appears in the meadow, dazzling white with golden horns bent in the form of a crescent. Who is this unexpected guest? Where did he come from and where does he go? The girls came closer and, not without fear, began to observe the wondrous beast. They had never seen him before. It seems that their unbridled joy and loud voices brought him here. Well then, let's play together! But the bull, peacefully waving its tail, bypasses the young beauties and approaches Europe. His breath was surprisingly light and fragrant.

– What is this? thought the princess. – Is it ambrosia?

The air around was filled with the fragrance of immortality. The daughter of King Agenor could not resist, and also began to stroke the miracle beast, gently hugging and kissing his mighty neck and head. A beautiful bull lay down at the feet of the girl, thereby, as it were, inviting her to sit on his back. Taking a hint, laughing, not suspecting anything,she perched on the mighty back of the golden-horned one. Immediately, the eyes of a peaceful animal became filled with blood, he jumps up and rushes to the seashore.

agenor and ocean


The Sidonians got scared. They started screaming and calling for help. But it's all useless. The bull has already jumped into the sea…

Europe was also scared (the mythology of Ancient Greece is famous for its combination of love and drama). But she had no choice but to sit quietly on the back of either an animal, or … She holds on to the golden horn with one hand, and with the other she picks up the edge of her dress so that it does not get wet from the s alty waves. Her fears are superfluous: Poseidon himself - the god of the sea and the brother of Zeus - rushes ahead in his chariot, so that not a single sea creature interferes with the bull, so that not a single s alty drop falls on the princess. Even the sea wind, not wanting to quarrel, calmed its sharp impulses.

Europe did not have the slightest doubt: God himself took on the form of her formidable kidnapper. But what? In her father's palace, she saw many strangers: some were from Libya, others from Assyria, and still others from Egypt. She distinguished them only by their clothes. It is obvious that God decided to outwit everyone, and took the form of a bull, so that the father, after listening to the story of the abduction, did not guess where to look for his daughter. Here the golden-horned one turned his head, and - Oh, a miracle! - not a drop of rage in his eyes, only bottomless depth, some kind of thoughtfulness and kindness. They became almost human…

The long-awaited shore

Native shores have long been out of sight. They were surrounded only by an endless water desert. Suddenly, a rocky shore appeared in the distance.The animal swam faster. “No, this is not the land of Egypt,” suggested the captive. The king of Sidon - Agenor (and the Ocean in ancient Roman legends) - once said that the place where the Nile River flows into the sea is more like a palm - flat, without a single depression or mountain. Rather, it is some kind of island…

It was the island of Crete. Finally, the wanderers got out on land. The bull allowed Europa to descend and dusted himself off. A hail of cold spray doused her from head to toe. Seeing nothing and not understanding what was happening, she quickly began to wipe her eyes and face. When I woke up, I saw a beautiful young man with a diadem on his head. Zeus - that's who the miracle bull turned out to be!

europe mythology

Many years have passed. Europe (ancient Greek mythology) remained to live in Crete, and gave birth to three sons to the Thunderer: Minos, Radamanth and Sarpedon. From those time immemorial, the stars from the constellation Taurus, the divine bull, which the supreme god placed in the sky as a sign of his undying love for Europe, have been giving us their radiance.

The kidnapping didn't pass for nothing for the father - King Agenor. His wife - Telefassa (and Tefida in ancient Roman mythology) - together with their sons went to look for their beloved daughter and sister. But their attempts were unsuccessful. They never found her.

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