Europa, the daughter of King Sidon, woke early one morning, disturbed by a bad dream. She dreamt of two Continents in the shape of a woman, each trying to possess her. Asia claimed that she owned her for she had given her birth, and the other, although unidentified, claimed that Zeus gave her permission to abduct the maiden.
After such a horrible vision, Europa decided not to try to sleep again. She sent for her companion to go out with her to the blooming meadows near the sea where they met after to dance, bathe or gather flowers.
Her beauty was of delicate craftsmanship to the ideal or any mortal. The flowers in her basket with the luscious scent of narcissus, violets and yellow crocuses, played supporting roles to her graceful figure. In the midst of Europa's cutting, Zeus was subdued, not by the pretty scent, but by the arrow, which was planted into his heart by that the mischievous Cupid. Even the Lord of the Sky could not help but to have fallen madly in love with Europa.
Appearing before Europa, Zeus turned himself into a bull. The most beautiful among all bulls was he, bright chestnut in colour, with a silver circle on his brow, and horns like the crescent of the moon. Europa and her companions were not afraid of this unique bull's gentle appearance, not to mention their desire to mount him.
Europa mounted the bull first, before the others could get close and the bull leaped and rushed to the shore over the wide water. In their journey, an entire procession joined them from the deep water: a variety of sea gods, Nereids riding upon dolphins, Tritons blowing their horns, and even Poseidon himself.
Europa, in fear of all these creatures, struggled to cling on to the bull. At this point, she was most certain that she was riding not only on the body of a bull but the mind of a god. Thus, she pleaded to the bull not to abandon her in some unknown and unfamiliar place. Zeus calmed her down in a gentle fashion, and in time they landed.
Crete was their destination - Zeus' very own island. Everything happened there, and marriage certainly took place there. Her sons, Minos and Rhadamantus, were well-known for their justice upon the earth, therefore became the judges of the dead. But the name of their mother is still the best known of all.