Europa was a Phoenician princess, daughter of Agenor and Telephassa. Zeus approached her in the shape of a white bull as she was playing on the beach with her friends. The girls decorated the beautiful and apparently tame animal with flowers, and finally Europa climbed on his back. Now the bull suddenly took to the sea and swam with her to Crete, where he assumed human shape. She bore him three sons, Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon. Later, she married Asterios, the king of Crete, and he adopted her sons.