Olive Tree

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The Origins

A greek legend tells that the cultivated olive tree, would come from a quarrel between Athena and Poseidon about the protection of a new city. To decide betwen them, Zeus asks both gods to make a gift to humankind.

Poseidon then, brandishes his trident and has a beautiful horse coming out of a rock. A splendid animal able to carry riders, weapons, to draw chariots and help winning battles.

Athena leans over a lump of earth , touches it and has a tree coming out. A tree, able to feed, to cure injuries and colds, to make women skin and hair beautiful and never dying.

The olive tree, as it was the tree which came out of the ground, was chosen as "the most useful gift to humankind" and Athena obtained the protection of the city wich is still called : Athena !

The symbols of the olive tree

Symbol of peace and reconciliation, the olive branch is chosen by God to tell Noah that the Deluge is finished, symbol of pardon.

Symbol  of victory, the olive tree is a gift offered during the Olympiads in Athena. Crown of olive branch and jars of olive oil are given to the winners.

Symbol of strengh, the olive tree is famous for its compact, heavy and solid wood. Hercules'clubs are made of olive tree wood and Ulysses floors the Cyclops with a stake made of olive tree wood.

Symbol of faithfulness : Ulysses and Penelope's bed is made of olive tree wood, a bed which will never welcome any of the numerous pretenders to the kingdom of Ithaques, during the 20 years of absence of the Greek heroe.

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