Torah, Bible and Koran; these monotheistic books have all cited the olive tree as a gift of God to men that can make their life of mortals gentler on earth. These sacred messages are valid for all places and times. But they do not explain to us the story of the creation of this divine tree. Fortunately, Greek mythology has been dedicated to this matter for a long time. Homer, through his Odyssey, relays the circumstances that led to this ingenious creation and here they are summarized:
Once the wars of the gods ended, the gods shared the Greek states and their cities. Their inhabitants will be able to honor their worship under the gods’ guardianship. The choices of the goddess Athena (daughter of Zeus) and the god Poseidon (Brother of Zeus) fall on Attica (Ulysses' hometown).
To settle between the two rivals, Zeus assigned the mission of separating these two parents to the king of Attica, the wise Cecrops, who is a good ruler and founder of Athens (he initiated monogamy, abolished sacrifices and gave the right to vote to men and to women). So, he decides to place the city under the responsibility of the god who will give men the most useful gift. The god of the sea, Poseidon, brought forth a beautiful source of salt water that covers the drylands to offer the inhabitants of Attica a giant pond for them to cool off and practice their leisure and water sports. He even offered to the king a glorious black horse springing from the sea. As for Athena, after a long reflection, she brought out of the earth a tree that she describes as “an immense tree with a crooked trunk and of which the leaves will not fall in any season.” This marvelous tree will bear the fruits that men will press when they are well walled, fruits that will feed generations. It is a symbol of peace and fertility. She called it the Olive Tree.
The people of Attica pass the vote under the eyes of Themis (goddess of justice) and… I will let you guess the result of the polls.