Abduction of

Europa

Abduction of Europa and Birth of Minos
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According to Greek mythology, Europa was the beautiful daughter of King of Phoenicia, Agenor and sister of Cadmus (founder of Thebes). Once, while playing with her friends on the beach, Zeus saw her and fell in love with her.

He transformed into a beautiful, burly and powerful bull, and pretended that he grazed. Then, she approached the bull and started to caress him, fascinated by its power. Then she decided to ride the bull, but he then started running with lightning speed. He crossed the Libyan Sea, until he arrived in Crete (in the position of today’s Lentas).

There, Zeus got back to his true form, and led Europa in Gortys, under the evergreen plane tree. There, they mated and the fruit of their love was Minos and Rhadamanthys. Indeed some coins of ancient Gortys represent Europa.

Zeus left to Olympus and Europa married the king of Crete, Asterios, who adopted her children. After the death of Asterios, Minos became king of the capital of Crete, Knossos, and built the first European civilization, the Minoan. Minos ruled justly over Crete and managed to unite all the cities under the Minoan rule. Indeed, because of his justice, when he died he became a Judge of Hades.

According to another version, the mating of Zeus and Europe took place in Diktaean Cave in Lassithi Plateau. Also, it is worth mentioning that our continent, Europe, took its name after Europa and the abduction of Europe is represented in the Greek 2 euro coin.

 

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