The myth of Europa, in high art and popular culture, through both private reading and public displays, plays a formative role in the invention of contemporary Europe. Who was Europa? ‘Without bulls there would be no Europe’ examines the myth of Europa and analyses it in relation to the idea of Europe now. What does the story of the rape of Europa mean? Why does it symbolize the European Union? We need to respond to a myth such as this one as an emblem rather than a narrative. Interpreting myth is a complex thing, involving selecting parts to take as literal and take as symbol. The myth of Europa is a good example of a myth as an ideological tool.