Giants and Winged Horses" by Frieda Bubbi
Exantas Publications ISBN 010240046
This is a book with an excellent collection of Greek myths. All Greek heroes are here: Hercules,
Theseus, Minotaur, Zeus, Athena, Medusa and so many more. There is english
text right next to the Greek one and the paintings that decorate the book
are great. Frieda Bubbi has done an excellent job.
(read a sample text from the book)
27 Greek Myths by Frieda Bubbi
In this book I have included the most important myths I haven't already
told you, and of the less important ones those that I thought were the
nicest. The story of Alcyone, for instance, is about no particular god
or hero, but I wouldn't leave it out - it has been one of my childhood
But if you were already familiar with Greek Mythology before you read
these books, you might wonder by now what happened to the story of Achilles
and Odysseus, why Paris and Helen of Troy are not mentioned here, or why
I mentioned the famous hero Jason only once and never told you his story.
The reason is that the tales of these people are too long and too important
not to be told separately. They are usually included in a special section
of Mythology called Greek Epic Poetry, or Heroic Poetry, because they
were originally told in long poems or theatrical plays.
I have saved my version of them, and I will be sending it your way
in the near future. I hope that you will be looking for it. Until then,
The Myth of Europe and Zeus (sample text from the book)
long ago, when the continent where Greece lies had not yet been named,
there reigned in the land of Sidon a king named Agenor with his three
sons and his pretty young daughter Europe.
One night Europe had a very strange dream. She dreamt that the continent
of Asia and the other nameless continent across the water appeared before
her in the shape of women and quarreled about who was going to own her.
"The lovely maiden Europe is mine," claimed Asia, "for I gave her birth."
"She has been yours until now," replied the other continent, "but it is
the will of Zeus that I should have her for my own."
Europe awoke startled by this dream, but she decided not to give it
any more thought and, summoning her friends, she went to play in a blooming
meadow by the seashore. There the girls bathed in the cool water, then
ran about on the grass filling their baskets with lovely spring flowers.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a bull appeared among them; not such a one
as you can find on an ordinary farm or grazing in an earthly meadow, but
one of most unusual beauty, with snow-white hide and gleaming, gemlike
horns with a narrow black streak running between them. And was he ever
gentle! He let the maidens pet him and hang garlands of flowers around
his neck and from his horns, while he lowed happily, rubbing his fleecy
coat against their legs.
All the girls were delighted with such a marvelous pet, but more so
was Europe, who caressed him and kissed him and in the end she even climbed
upon his back to take a ride. The bull lowed most joyfully then, and with
the young lady on his back he began walking slowly about until he came
to the edge of the water. There he stood for a moment, then all at once
he leaped forward and set off running into the sea.
Europe was frightened and screamed loudly for help, but when her companions
heard her and ran to the shore, they could do nothing to save her. Holding
fast to the beast's horns and clinging to its back, so that she wouldn't
fall off, Europe saw in terror that the shore was being left far behind
and she began weeping.
"My good, gentle bull," she said between her sobs, "you are not an ordinary
beast, and of this I am certain. Should you be a god, pray, tell me what
it is that you want from me! Where are you taking me? We have left the
shore far behind and I am most afraid to think of the coming darkness.
when I am away from home."
The bull answered her gently in a man's voice. "No need to fear, my
beautiful one," he said. "I am Zeus and I am taking you to Crete where
you shall live happily and you shall become the mother of great men. What
is more, the continent to which Crete belongs shall take your name."
It happened just as the father of gods said it would. When the journey
ended, Europe found herself being laid softly on the shore of Crete, from
where she was directed to a palace and there she became the queen. She
lived a happy life and bore three sons, two of whom, Minos and Rhadamanthys,
became famous and lived beyond this life to be the judges of souls in
the kingdom of Hades.
But imagine now how deeply distressed Europe's father was to hear that
a bull had taken his daughter and had vanished with her across the wide
sea. He called his three sons, Phoenix, Cilix and Cadmus and said to them:
"Travel to the end of the world if you have to, but bring Europe back
to me. I want to see none of you returning without your sister or news
about her." ... (The story continues in the book).