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Theban Saga
Cretan Saga

 


South from Beirut stands the city of Tyros, where lived the king Agenor. From the union of the King and Telephaessa, daughter of Poseidon and Libya, came to the world the beautiful Europa, who spent most of the time playing with her friends by the sea.

When Zeus saw the beautiful girl, it is not difficult to imagine that he could not stay still any more and that he was anxious to sleep with her. Therefore he transformed himself into a white bull and appeared next to the girl when she was playing. All the children run away except of Europa, who though the animal was really fascinating. She dared to get closer and closer to the bull, and she even sat on its back. Then the bull started to walk around a little bit and also the other girls wanted to get a ride, but it did not let them at all. Suddenly, the animal got into the water and, as fast as a dolphin, with the sea opened thanks to Poseidon, Zeus took Europa to the Greek island of Crete. There he told her that in the same way as he had been safely brought up there in the islands, so could she live there a wealthy and joyful life.

Europa had three children from Zeus: Sarpedon, Rhadamanthys, and the great king Minos. Some sources say that Zeus had forced her three times, other say that they loved each other. Well, who knows, but three children...

Minos became known later on because of the Minoan Saga. Apart from this, he and his brother Rhadamanthys had been in fight since they were young, and when they grew up, Minos chased his brother. He did not specially like his mother either, since she would not let him dominate her. But Europa got three presents from Zeus that frightened him and somehow made that they lived together "tolerating" each other. These presents were a golden spear that she always carried around, an extremely nasty dog, and a bronze man who was walking around the city three or six times per day looking for enemies.

The Cretan and Theban Sagas

The kidnap of Europa started two sagas. On the one hand, the Cretan Saga with the powerful king Minos, who created one of the earliest and most important cultures of his time. On the other hand, the Theban Saga. The city of Theban was founded by the brother of Europa, who tried to find her but did not succeed. Here we find stories as for instance the one from Oedipus, whose destiny made him fall in love with his mother and gave name to the Oedipus complex.

Gods / Heroes / The Danaids / Europa / The Atriden / Trojan War / The Oracle

 
 

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