The olive tree of the Mediterranean.

We often wonder what connects us to the wonderful olive tree. Why do we love it so much? Why does it stir in us this undefinable positive attitude to us? Why are our senses awakened the moment we touch its trunks?
Its hi tory has the answer! And it is also connected to our blessed homeland! No other tree has been so heavily identified with the Mediterranean as the olive tree. Its depiction is that of the first tree in the history of the frescoes that appeared in the Minoan civilization. Its branch was a symbol of the hieroglyphics of Crete. We know that Minoans and Mycenaeans used olive oil in their cooking, while olive oil residues were found in Minoan utensils — pots, which were discovered and processed using modern methods. It is no coincidence that the olive tree was what symbolized goodness during ancient ceremonies. Close to our hearts. Valuable. A symbol of peace, protection and fertility, it influenced the customs and practices of Greeks and created its own culture. The olive wreath was the prize for the winners of the Olympic Games, and olive oil was the prize for the winners of the Panathenaic Games, held in honour of goddess Athena, as the olive tree was the gift that the goddess offered to the city of Athens, along with her name. With….Its divine origins, the olive tree was therefore praised by ancient and modern writers and poets as no other tree! Its branches, leaves, its harvest have decorated the walls of ancient palaces, amphorae and pottery.
What would the Greek, Mediterranean landscape be without the domination of its trees? Without this unique gray-green, colour of their leaves to light up the fields? Poorer certainly. Less inspired and inspiring certainly.
‘Midsummer afternoon….
when, even if there were no olive groves…
i would have invented them.’ as the poet (Odysseus Elytis) wrote to express what is in the soul of all of us.


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