gods of ancient Greece were not distinguished by restraint, passions blazed unjoking, the consequences of divine games were serious. The inhabitants of Olympus enjoyed all earthly pleasures, indulged their own weaknesses, including vanity.
Competitions of the gods were in active course, so the god of the seas Poseidon and the daughter of Zeus, goddess of war, peace and wisdom — Athena Pallada, came together for the right to be called master of Attica.
Legend has it that Poseidon struck with a trident, breaking the rock from where salt water flowed — giving humans thus a new spring. It was a sign of the rapid superiority of “his” men on the seas, a kind of promise. Not bad, but Greece had neither then nor now a shortage in salt water, for geographically is in a favorable place (from this point of view).
Then Poseidon added a chariot so people could transport goods faster, expand connections and influence, get rich and feed well-trained soldiers. It gave serious advantages.
Athena planted a bone in the ground from which the first olive tree grew. And won. The city was named after her — Athens.
And the fact is that the olive has become more than just another fruiting tree along with, for example, grapes or fig trees. The fruit of the olive tree was used not only directly, that is, in food. They made oil, they were used in medicine, they went for cosmetics. Of course, it has become a commodity that has brought considerable profits to the state.
Olive trees were under special control. Even landowners were not free to dispose of olive trees on their own plots.
Moreover, one of the seven sages of ancient Greece, Solon (the same Solon who pretended to be dejected to avoid the death penalty and get fellow citizens to listen to a rescue plan from the military offensive), issued a special series of decrees concerning olive trees. Harming them was punishable strictly – deprivation of property, monetary penalties, up to the death penalty.
Wood from these trees was also made, but only in exceptional cases and for religious, sacred purposes. It was only possible to burn the olive tree as a sacrifice to the gods.
For the olives donated by Athena represented statehood and productive public life, as would put it today in a part of the world that was formed under the influence of Greek politics , which became the basis of the modern democratic system. No wonder Ralph Dutley, Swiss philologist, poet and essayist, calls the olive tree the first democrat.