The olive tree in 6,000 years of history
The olive tree is a plant cultivated by man since ancient times. Considered a gift of the gods, it was recognized as a symbol of peace, wisdom, glory and prosperity. In this section we retrace the history of the the civilizations that have derived wellness and wealth from the olive tree and olive oil.
The first to sow olive trees? The goddess of wisdom
According to Greek mythology, Athens, capital of Hellas and the driving centre of Greek civilization, is intimately linked to its protective deity, Glaukopis Athena, the goddess with eyes as bright as the gray-silver-green leaves of the olive trees, which are considered a being of light and a symbol of wisdom. Poseidon, god of the sea, and Athena, daughter of Zeus, goddess of wisdom, competed to win the possession and protection of Athens. Poseidon struck a rock with his trident and this brought out a marine water source and a horse that was faster than the wind. Athena planted the first olive tree, which for millennia would give men a wonderful juice to be used for food preparation, body care, the healing of wounds and diseases and as a source of light for housing.
Athena won the challenge and became the ruler of the city, which was named after her and built the Parthenon in her honour. Solon (640-561 BC), poet, lawmaker and archon (one of nine Athenian leaders) had a second group of olive trees planted and promoted olive cultivation by placing it under the protection of Zeus. Yet another legend tells that Allirothios, son of Poseidon, in order to avenge his father’s defeat, tried to take these trees down with an axe, what slipped out of his hand and killed him