Myths about the Holy Tree

The olive tree has been well-known since the ancient times. People in the European Mediterranean territory were the first ones to grow olive trees. The hometown of this special tree is considered to be Ancient Athens, as the first olive tree is said to have been planted at the foot of the Acropolis by Goddess Athena herself. That is probably the reason why it has always been regarded as a holy tree protected by this Goddess. For anyone who dared to harm it, the punishment was ostracism or death.

According to the legend, during a competition between Athena, “Goddess of Wisdom and Justice” and Poseidon, “God of Seas”, the Goddess was the final winner offering to the citizens the first olive tree in the world which appeared at the point where she shot her spear. The Olive tree was a super blessed gift for the Athenians because it offers nutrition, food, beauty, wood, health and positive feeling.

Furthermore, according to the Greek Mythology, Hercules the hero planted an olive tree in the temple of the Goddess Hera in ancient Olympia after he had accomplished all 12 feats assigned to him by Eurystheus. Therefore, it was established in a way that athletes should be awarded with an olive wreath after their victory.

Another Greek myth says that Aristaeus, Son of Cyrene, and Apollo, grew up near Muses and Nymphs. The Muses trained him in divination and the art of medicine. The Nymphs taught him beekeeping, the production of cheese from milk and the cultivation of the vine and olive tree. As for the olive tree, they showed him the way to plant the wild olive tree to give fruit and how to grind the olive fruit to obtain Virgin Olive Oil. It is believed that Aristaeus invented the olive press, which made the production of olive oil much easier. He was the patron god of olive growers, in several parts of Greece, especially on the Aegean islands.