Republic of Cyprus

The Ministry


The Logo of the Ministry

The logo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been inspired by an ancient Cypriot coin depicting the abduction of Europa by Zeus. The original coin dates back to 5th century BC during the rule of King Timocharis of Marion (an ancient City-Kingdom on the western part of the island, in the Paphos district).


Timocharis, end of 5th cent. BC
Silver Diobol, Cyprus Archaeological Museum
Zeus, transformed into a bull, abducting Europa;
Syllabic inscription below


The Myth

According to Greek mythology, Zeus fell in love with the beautiful Europa, daughter of Agenor, king of Phoenicia and Telephassa, or Tyre. In order to capture her attention, Zeus transformed himself into a white bull and mingled with the herds of Agenor, while Europa was gathering flowers in the meadows. Europa caressed the beautiful animal and dared mount upon its back. Taking advantage of this Zeus abducted her and carried her on his back via Cyprus to Crete.



May 2006



Last Modified at: 21/04/2016 12:49:04 PM