home > The Olive: History
At the beginning of time, mythology places the appearance of the olive tree in Athens. Athena, the goddess of wisdom wished to win the favour of the people of Athens and be recognised as their sovereign, so she made this sacred tree sprout from a lance, and then sentenced:
"“… not only will its fruits be good to eat, but an extraordinary liquid will be obtained from them, which will be capable of being food for man and of soothing wounds”.
Thus, thanks to the creation of the olive tree, a jury comprised of twelve gods conferred sovereignty over Attica upon Athena.
Such was the importance of this tree in the cradle of our civilisation that Greek laws announced the exile of anyone daring to pull up more than two olive trees. The olive was the symbol of life and women wishing to have children sought its shade.
Leaving mythology on one side and delving into history, it was the Romans who, more than two thousand years ago, extended the cultivation of the olive throughout the lands of the Iberian peninsula, transmitting the devotion to these fertile, resistant and longevous trees, as well as the high esteem of the liquid extracted from its fruits.
Centuries later, in Mediaeval times, the Islam civilisation was responsible for providing improvements in the cultivation techniques, in obtaining oil and in thee manufacture of storage containers. A clear example of this influence is the large number of words originating from the Arab language in Spanish, related to this tree and its fruit, such as aceituna (olive), aceite (oil), almazara (olive mill), almijar (place where the olives are placed to air before being squeezed), algorín (place used to preserve the olive) or acebuche (wild olive).
Ékolo · (Camino de San Andrés) · Paraje de Bigortiga · 31243 - Arroniz (Navarra)