Given its very ancient origins, it is not surprising to find numerous myths relating to the olive tree that introduce it into the human imagination of our times. One of the best known Greek myths, in particular, attributes the birth of the first olive tree to the goddess Athena. Legend has it that Poseidon and Athena, competing for the sovereignty of Attica, challenged each other on who would offer the most beautiful gift to the people of Athens. Poseidon made the horse rise from the ground, fast and strong, an animal able to help the Athenians during their battles. Athena, on the other hand, by striking a rock with her spear, caused the first olive tree to spring forth from the earth, which was very useful for the population because it was so extremely versatile. Thanks to its fruits, the Athenians could: illuminate the night, medicate wounds and feed the population. Zeus, judge of the challenge, chose the more peaceful element: the olive tree, thus attributing the victory to Athena, who became the goddess of Athens.
This narrative shows how the history of the olive tree is indeed long-lived. Various studies demonstrate that this plant arrived in Greece in very ancient times, around 4,000 years ago, and numerous historical findings tell of the importance of the olive tree and oil for this civilization, at every stage of its evolution and in countless sectors. In the kitchens, at the bath, in gymnasiums, at sporting events and even at funerals.