Europa to Zeus, 1200 BC

Happier (sexier) times…

Dear Zeus,

I’m sorry to send this letter to you. There’s only one way to say this, but it’s over. When I saw you in that field, your beautiful white coat, that cute button of a nose, that sexy, sexy tail, I thought I was in love with you. I was filling to follow you anywhere. I dreamed of us eating grass, settling down, raising a calf together. And then I have to hear from Apollo that you aren’t a sexy bull at all. You’re just some smelly God! I feel so betrayed.

It’s one thing to lie. It’s another to find a girl’s deepest desires and fears and use those to seduce her. It’s almost like you read my diary, found out how hot I thought bulls were, and used that to trick me into, well, I don’t even want to write it. It was a dream come true. How was I to know it was to turn into a nightmare?

Plus, you always take me to the same places. Satyr’s gyros again? Barf. I should have known when you didn’t want to eat all that nice grass I cut for you. I feel so betrayed. Don’t call me again. There’s this cute swan I have my eye on…


Analysis:As scholars have discovered time and again, the Greeks had some weird stories. Teachers have been glossing over God-on-man-on-animal sex stories for hundreds of years, and students are continually surprised when they get to college and learn the really dirty stuff. It remains a source of embarrassment that the founders of Western civilization were so weird.

Take, for example, the birth of Aphrodite, who was born when Uranus’ testicles were cut off and thrown into the sea. The famous image of her rising out of the water, perfect in her beauty, takes on a whole new meaning when you realize, as the famous 18th century German historian Klaus Plenger did, “she’s just balls!” Luckily, Greek theologians spent a lot of their time suggesting that the stories were “metaphorical” and that Artemis didn’t really turn a guy into a big boar and slaughter him because he was in love with her. Instead, it was just a way for the ancients to teach us important lessons, like “don’t get turned into an animal, and definitely don’t run off with any suspicious talking animals.”

Humorously, the Romans slightly changed this story slightly so that instead of Jupiter turning into a white bull and tricking Europa into sleeping with him, he turned into a white bull and tricked her into having sex with him. Afterwards, the bull led the Romans in victory over the Sybillenes.


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