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How did Taurus get its name?

Taurus - this constellation takes its name from the Greek Tauros, meaning "the Bull."

In the most ancient versions, Zeus (chief Olympian god) fell in love with Europa, daughter of the king of Tyre. For some strange reason, Zeus transformed himself into the shape of a beautiful white bull in order to attract Europa to him.

Even more oddly, Zeus' rather unusual (to say the least) plan worked perfectly. Europa was so taken away with the beauty and gentility of the white bull that she climbed onto the white bull's back. Europa was then carried away by Zeus (still in the form of the bull) to Crete.

Later versions of the myth say that the bull was merely a messenger of the god, Zeus - who then delivered Europa to Zeus on Crete.

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