Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes

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Zeus and Europa in Greek Mythology
Europa was one of the god Zeus's many love interests in Greek mythology. She was a beautiful mortal woman, and the noble daughter of a King Agenor (according to some sources, Agenor was the king of Phoenicia).

The legend of Europa and Zeus begins when the ruler of the Olympian gods glimpses the young woman one day. At first sight of Europa, Zeus is instantly overcome by her beauty and grace. Not being one to ignore his desires, the god immediately comes up with a plan - he assumes the form of a glorious white bull and swims to the shore on which Europa and her female companions are playing (it should be noted that in some versions of the story, rather than disguising himself, Zeus sends a real white bull to lure the girl). The bull is so sleek and handsome, not to mention gentle, that the maidens all take turns stroking and petting the pretty creature.

In time, Europa feels comfortable enough with the bull to climb upon his back for a little ride. However, as soon as she is safely seated, the bull moves toward the sea, carrying the object of his affection with him. They together cross the water. Their strange but compelling journey leads them eventually to the island of Crete.

Upon arriving in Crete, Zeus finally casts off his disguise and reveals his divine identity to Europa. The mortal woman then becomes yet another of the god's lovers. Ultimately, Europa gives birth to a trio of sons - Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon.

It was said that Zeus so loved Europa that he gave her three priceless presents. The first was Talos, a magical man made of bronze, who served as a guard on Crete. The second was Laelaps, a dog that excelled at the hunt. And the third and final gift was a javelin that always hit its target. In addition, as a last poetic touch, it is worth mentioning that the bull that "stars" in this story was transformed into the constellation Taurus.

Europa and Zeus in Art History
Gallery | For pictures and information about Europa and Zeus in art, visit the Mythography gallery!

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.

Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology

The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.

Mythography Forums

Mythography Forums

Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!