A statue of Athena with gold details, holding a spear

Ancient Greek Mythology and Olive Oil Symbolism


While our Organic Greek olive oil is sacred in the kitchen, it is also sacred in Greece’s rich culture, dating back to Ancient Mythology. In this blog post, we will explore a few key tales where olive oil is symbolic, as these myths continue to influence modern Greek traditions and our role as a company.

For common misconceptions about olive oil, check out our “myth-busting” article.

If you want to know more about the rich cultural history of our Organic Greek Olive Oil, read on…

Greek Myths

Athena and the Olive Tree

Do you know how the city of Athens got its name? Athena - the goddess of wisdom, and Poseidon - the god of the sea, competed for patronage of the city by presenting gifts to the residents. Poseidon struck his trident with a rock and created a saltwater spring, while Athena planted an olive tree as a symbol of peace and prosperity and was deemed the winner, hence the name “Athens”. As a result, Athenians depicted Athena on their coins with an olive branch, or with an olive wreath on her helmet. 

Pandora’s Box

Another example of olives being present in Greek mythology is in the tale of Pandora’s box. When all the evils of the world were released from the box, only hope remained trapped, depicted by an olive branch to represent the promise of renewal.



The olive branch as a symbol of peace originates from Greek mythology. In modern times, it continues to be used in the Olympic Games.

Ancient Rituals

Olive oil specifically played a fundamental part in Ancient Greek rituals. It was used to anoint sacred statues, and those taking part in religious ceremonies. Furthermore, olive oil lamps were lit as offerings to their gods, as its purity was seen as vital for connecting with divine beings.

Modern Greek Traditions

Greek mythology remains an important influence on modern culture, such as the vital role of olive oil in rituals such as weddings and baptisms due its symbolism of purity and blessing.

These stories highlight the connection between olive oil with enduring peace, the wisdom of Athena, and general well-being. Every drop of our Organic Greek Olive Oil carries with it a piece of timeless history that connects us to the very roots of Greek culture.

For a taste of history, check out our range here

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