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Olive oil is a buzzed-about “superfood” today, but we aren’t the only ones singing its praises. In fact, ancient people in the Mediterranean basin had another designation they preferred: they believed olive trees were sent by the gods. The legend goes that when the city of Athens was founded, the goddess Athena created the olive tree so that they would choose her as their patron, rather than the god Poseidon.

Can you blame the ancient Greeks for believing these trees were godly? These trees produced a delicious bounty of fruit each year, which could be used for eating, lighting lamps, cosmetics, medicine, and more.

In Greece, they thanked the Greek gods for their olive cultivation. Aristaeus, the God of Olive Growth, was praised for protecting the olive groves. In Judaism, olives are believed to be one of the seven fruits that Israel was blessed with.