According to the Greek Mythology, the first king of Attica was King Cecrops, who from waist down had the body of a serpent. Legend says that when the king placed the foundation rock for the construction of his new city, god Poseidon came to him and asked to name the city, Poseidon. Then he struck the foundation rock with his trident and a war horse appeared on which to ride on and conquer other land. Another legend says that Poseidon struck the foundation rock and salty water sprang up, which indicated trade by sea.
The goddess of wisdom, Athena, came and asked the king to name the city, Athena. Then she struck the foundation rock with her spear and an olive tree appeared. This tree will become the symbol of peace and its fruit will be feeding the people forever.
After the competition, Zeus asked all the gods of Olympus to vote on the name of the city. All the gods voted for Poseidon and all the goddesses voted for Athena. Lastly Zeus voted and gave his vote to Athena. With the difference of one vote, she won and the city was named, Athena.
Another democratic version tells us that the people of the city had to vote on which name the new city will take. Poseidon offered the war horse and Athena offered the olive tree which gave them its priceless products forever.
The olive tree became the symbol of affluence, religious and social values, peace, wisdom and prosperity. The Greeks were the first people to cultivate the olive tree for its priceless products, which have been the foundation of the Greek economy.
Under the shadows of legends and traditions, Greece depends on the olive tree. Today there are 120,000,000 olive trees in Greece, about 12 trees per person as there were 12 gods. Almost 500,000 Greek families depend on the olive oil production, as their primary source of income.
In the island of Crete, the cultivation of the olive tree, traces back to the prehistoric era. In Peloponnese, fossils of the olive tree remnants and its products have been recovered, dated back to the paleolithic era, 20,000 years ago and in Santorini olive tree fossils were recovered, dated back 50,000 years ago.
In the Minoan times, olive oil was the main commodity used for trade. To this day different types of olive varieties in the Mediterranean region, are traced to ancient Greece.
The best olive oil comes from Greece. It is the gift from a goddess!