In one variation of Greek Mythology, Athena, goddess of wisdom and war was competing with Poseidon, god of the sea, for the patronage of the growing Attica settlement: Poseidon struck the rock and a spring flowed, but it was salty water. Athena in turn touched the stoney ground and an olive tree grew. The olive tree was judged to be the more useful gift and the city became known as Athens.
The olive, in any case, is one of the oldest cultivars known to man. Originating in Asia Minor as a small shrub, the first indication of the fruit collected for food dates to the 8th millennium...read more