Europe was born in Asia by Agenor, the Phoenician King of Tyre, and Telephassa. Europe was the sister of Cadmus, the founder of the Greek city of Thebes.
Zeus, the king of the gods, passed by and noticed her. Admired by her beauty, he took the form of a white bull with golden horns to carry off the maiden.
Europa noticed the bull in the midst of the herd and mounted him playfully; together they traveled as far as Crete. Only when they arrived in Gortyn, Crete, did Zeus reveal his true identity and Europa lay down with Zeus under a sycamore tree, which became evergreen.
The couple begat three sons: Minos, the king of Crete, Sarpidon and Radamanthus.
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