The land of myth

From birth of the king of gods, Zeus, of goddess Athena by River Triton, Kourites and Cretan Dionysus Zagrea,to the God – King Minos, the advent of Europe in Gortys and the flight of Icarus and Daedalus, the mythical Talos and Vritomartida, the island of Crete was always followed by countless myths.


Olive oil

The olive tree of course could not but be a part of them. According to Aesop, when the trees decided to Christ the King of trees, they chose the olive tree.
«Ξύλα ποτὲ ἐπορεύθη τοῦ χειροτονῆσαι ἐφ’ ἑαυτῶν βασιλέα καὶ εἶπαν τῇ ἐλαίᾳ: «Βασίλευσον ἐφ’ ἡμῶν». Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ἡ ἐλαία: «Ἀφεῖσα τὴν πιότητά μου, ἣν ἐδόξασεν ἐν ἐμοὶ ὁ θεὸς καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι, πορευθῶ ἄρχειν τῶν ξύλων;».


The importance of this tree and its fruit is evident in the daily life of people of that era. Olive tree was the sacred tree of many important cities of antiquity, an award for the winners of the Olympic Games and the olive oil a basic mean of communication with the gods in libations to them. The fact that in Linear B, the tree, the fruit of the olive and olive oil each had their own symbol shows their importance as well. The olive tree of course could not but have its own position in the frescoes of Knossos and Phaistos, and on many amphoras.



Honey also has a prominent part in the Cretan mythology. Bees play an important role in the economy and the cult of prehistoric Crete. By Melissa King of Crete and daughter Melissa, who according to legend first taught people the art of beekeeping, so the bees – Trophy of Zeus nourished the king of the gods with their honey. Also important is the legend that wants young son Minos Glaucus drowning in a pot with honey and then resurected with the help of a herb. The part of the myth referring to honey is actually showing the funerary habits of the ancient Cretans which included honey as an embalming material.


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