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Metamorphoses: Book 2: Europa Summary & Analysis

After punishing Aglauros, Mercury returns to the sky. Jupiter asks Mercury to go drive a herd of royal cattle to the seashore, concealing his motives. Mercury does what Jupiter asks. Then, Jupiter disguises himself as a magnificent bull and goes in among the cows. The princess Europa looks at the beautiful bull in wonder. Gradually, Europa is persuaded by the bull’s gentleness to pet him and eventually ride him. When she gets on his back, Jupiter slowly carries her to the sea and walks into the water. Europa clutches his horns in sudden fright as the land falls away.
Jupiter yet again disrupts order by kidnapping and raping a mortal girl. In the instance of Europa, Jupiter transports his victim to the opposite shore, carrying her away from her homeland. This action expands Europa’s legacy by placing her on a different continent. In the first human race before the flood, humans became corrupt when they started sailing the sea to new shores. In this second human race, travelling to new shores is initiated by Jupiter’s capture of Europa.
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