"Once upon a time (or so the story goes), the god Zeus fell in love with a beautiful girl named Europa. In order to gain her affections, Zeus turned himself into a magnificent bull, and carried her on his back across the sea to Crete. According to some accounts, one of their three sons was a certain Minos, who became king of Crete. So the Strasbourg sculpture acts as a elegant symbol for the place of Crete in the history of Europe: since Europa later gave her name to the continent of Europe, the Minoan civilization on Crete marks the true beginning of European history."
"The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine (The Penguin History of Europe)" by Simon Price, Peter Thonemann -