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Greeks, Romans, Egyptians And The Olive Tree

La Tienda

Looking at an olive tree with its twisted trunk, you get the feeling that it looks as old as humanity. Its branches though give a feeling of youth, peace and tranquility.

Famous artists Renoir and Matisse were inspired by the beauty of the olive tree and put it on canvas. The king of olive tree paintings, the famous Van Gogh has painted nineteen olive trees.

During the Greek, Egyptian and Roman Empires, the olive tree and its oil was the producer of myths, legends and stories that carry on.

According to a Greek legend, the olive tree is as old as the gods of Olympus. As we said in a previous post Zeus conducted a competition, challenging the gods and goddesses to see who will create the most useful gift and become the patron of the new city.

Athena the goddess of wisdom was competing with Poseidon the god of the sea and the horses. Poseidon created the horse and Athena who provided the olive tree with its olive fruit, olive oil and wood, won the contest.

Greeks also believed that if someone polished the statue of Zeus with olive oil, he would get longevity and happiness. The Olympic Athletes were closely connected with the olive tree and olive oil.

The Romans believed the olive tree and its olive oil was a gift from their goddess of wisdom Minerva. According to the myth she showed them the art and technique of the cultivation of the olive tree. The legendary founders of Rome, twins Remus and Romulus were born under an olive tree.  Whatever the myths and legends, the Romans today get credit for saying: “The necessary ingredients of civilization are olive oil and wine.”

In the kingdom of Egypt the Pharaohs were worshiped in life as well as in death. Crowns made out of the olive branches were placed as offerings in the tombs.

The Egyptians also believed that the olive tree was a gift from the Gods. Goddess Isis, the wife of Osiris the god of Egypt, taught them how to cultivate the olive tree and how to extract the olive oil from the olives. The Egyptians used olive oil to receive love, beauty and power.

The “liquid gold” has been claimed for many centuries as a possession of many civilizations.

Always remember “Healthy bodies, Healthy minds”.

Use extra virgin olive oil for good health. It is a super food.

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