History of olive oil
History of olive oil
The Olive Tree is an ancient tree of wisdom and peace, has been adopted by the human race as a source of wealth and food for millennia. History of the Olive rooted in time to the very origins of agriculture in the early civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Since the expansion of the Roman Empire, the Olive Tree, has been linked to the Mediterranean Sea and has been cultivated continuously until today. All peoples who have occupied the Mediterranean have brought culture, irrigation and other technologies for olive cultivation and oil extraction, making it a product of high frequency primary goods in trade of all time.
History of olive oil during the Roman Period
The great flowering of olive growing, wine coupled with the expansion of all cultures. Whether it was the Phoenicians and Greeks who imposed their culture on the Iberian Peninsula. However, the great expansion and improvement of olive cultivation was due to the Romans, who took him to all their colonies, which could develop. The growing and pruning techniques are already well documented and collected in books masterfully Cato agriculture. In the Roman Empire, the olive tree and its branches were symbols of peace, prosperity and fertility.
The Romans spread olive cultivation European Mediterranean by land, while the Tyrians, of Phoenician origin and founders of Carthage, did so for North Africa. When the Romans defeat the Carthaginians and take over what are now the countries of Maghreb, in Tunisia had extensive olive groves. The Carthaginians were good farmers and shared their knowledge and experiences and Numidian Berber tribes of what is now eastern Algeria.
Olive cultivation, such as grapes and other fruit, contributed to the settling of the nomadic tribes of North Africa. The new conquerors, the Romans were so interested in agriculture as Africans themselves sedentary, the former because they wanted to keep the peace, and the supply of cities and legions of the empire. The latter because they wanted to get rich taking advantage of the situation of the peace that only the Romans could ensure against invasions of nomadic tribes. All these factors contribute to improved crop olive.
The Romans like the Greeks against the laurel wreaths that rewarded their victorious military, rewarded with crowns woven with olive branches to citizens who were distinguished for having provided outstanding service to his country. Numa second king of Rome, under whose reign they enjoyed a long peace, are always represented with an olive branch in his hand. As in the case of the dove that Noah released after the flood and it returned to the ark with an olive branch in its beak, indicating that God's anger had passed, again the olive tree is the symbol of peace, culture and progress.
Avienus, Roman author concerned about the growing of olives and a connoisseur of Hispania, in his book called Ora Maritima Ebro river, Oleum Flumen, ie oil river. During the Roman Empire under olive cultivation spread throughout the Mediterranean coast, is almost certain to Rosas, Ampuria and Tarragona were the places where they were introduced in Catalonia and Aragon olives, should be so common throughout the peninsula, Emperor Hadrian, adopted as the symbol of Roman great olive branch.
Olive oil enjoyed in Roman times of deserved prestige. There is a hill close to the port of Ostia, called Monte Testaccio which, says the renowned archaeologist Dressell, consists of a series of layers of remains of Roman amphoras, manufactured in Spain, which were used to transport olive oil Rome as deduced from their brands and features. The study of this material has allowed to reconstruct the history of olive oil in the first three centuries of our era. Olive oil from Hispania was known throughout the West Roman, their natural trade routes were the major rivers Rhone, Garonne, Rhine, Danube, and so on. Across the English Channel and the end of the century, all the oil exported to Britain came from Andalusia.
History of olive oil during the Ancient Greece
The olive fruit and olive oil, are closely linked to Greek culture, because as we see in Greek mythology, is credited with founding Athens Cecrops, to the sixteenth century. c. and his promoter and protector, the goddess Athena who, according to legend, brought forth an olive tree in the city with the tip of his spear.
The same source of Athens is related to the installation of the olive by Athena, fighting with Poseidon for supremacy in protecting the city. To calm the conflict between them, the high Zeus intervened and established grant the domain of that territory who were able to provide the most useful gift to humanity. Poseidon took a horse, animal resistant, fast and able to relieve the work of men; Athena, however, came with a small twig in his hands twisted, subtle silvery green flakes. Poseidon was already savoring the victory when Athena began to explain the extraordinary properties of the olive tree: a strong plant could live for many years and produce tasty, tasty fruits, of which men could extract an ideal liquid for seasoning food (the olive oil), give strength to the body, heal the wounds and illuminating the night. The victory of the goddess was overwhelming. Athena winner Zeus decreed by donating citizens the most useful plant and was granted sovereignty over the region.
In the Odyssey, the presence of the olive is repeated several times, for example, Odysseus and his companions used a beam of olive to blind the Cyclops. Episodes often occur in which the protagonists are rubbed with olive oil, as usually happened at the time. Olive oil was also used in the dressing, spreads the thread. Perhaps the most famous is the step on the bridal bed of Ulysses. Himself (Book XXIII) "cut a huge vast olive leaves and built around a room." Worked so the trunk, embedding in it wearing gold, silver and ivory, creating a beautiful and unique thalamus.
According to mythology, the art of agriculture were taught to men by Aristaeus, son of Apollo and the nymph Cyrene. Olive cultivation was also important to have invented Aristeo extraction systems for olive oil, among which would be the winepress.
Note that the presence of the olive tree in mythology is of great importance, directly proportional to the value of the plant. According to Greek legend, a dove came from Phoenicia to offer an olive branch to the temple of Zeus in Epirus.
The olive tree is not only linked to literature and mythology but also in daily life, as the victors in the Greek Olympic games were crowned with olive branches woven from seventh Olympiad.
In ancient Greece there are numerous signs that track olive cultivation and olive oil use. Vareo technique already used, and scenes are captured in vareadores Greek amphorae decorated. For the Greeks, the olive tree was a totem, especially for Athenian citizens, as the olive tree is the origin of the foundation of the "polis".
Although the inhabitants of ancient Greece knew the wild olive varieties cultivated for the production of olive oil, came from Egypt, but did much to improve cultivation and olive oil extraction. The importance of both aspects is best understood by studying the harsh laws that protected and regulated: who the Areopagus arrancase an olive tree near Acropolis, could be sentenced to exile and confiscation of their property, in addition, any Athenian could clear more of two olive trees on their property. The affection felt for the Greeks the olive is reflected in a legend that, around 480 BC, during the medical wars, the Persian army, commanded by Xerxes took Athens and burned the Acropolis, where sacred trees like torches blazed. When after his victory at Salamis the Greeks returned home they found only ruins, ashes and desolation. But Athena, the patron goddess of Athens, made the sacred olive rebrotasen overnight
The Greeks used olive oil as food meals usually were based on bread, oil, wine and honey, sometimes accompanied by cheese and milk, fish and meat. Also used olive oil as a fuel for lighting. Olive oil is also used as a cosmetic in human and veterinary medicine, for flexibility and softness to your tissues and conservation system other foods.
History of olive oil during the Visigod Period
The Visigoths were a nomadic people of Northern Europe the Romans defined as barbarians. Towards century V d. C., after several clashes with the Visigoths Roman power began signing agreements or foedus with the Roman Empire, which held dominance of much of Europe. Through these agreements, the Visigothic people pledged to defend property remaining Roman barbarian invasions in return Rome recognized their right to settle on their land.
In early V century the Visigoths in Spain by establishing a new foedus with Rome. It will take almost a hundred years until political power is consolidated Visigothic kingdom and set up a proper. Hispanic Roman society that inhabited the peninsula came into contact with new people in the north who brought rudest customs. Over time, both companies were mutually assimilated. Christianity was the religion of the Roman Hispania and the weight of the Church was increasingly coming to unite under his faith to the whole society.
Visigothic society was devoted mainly to livestock. The sheep, cow and pig livestock species were predominant. Of these animals preyed everything: wool coat, milk for cheese, meat as food, ... However, agriculture also developed a lesser extent. In the area of ??the Castilian plateau prevailed growing grain, especially wheat and barley.
When cooking Visigothic culture heritage brought as consumption of animal fats such as lard or bacon. However, they adopted the habit of consumption of Mediterranean virgin olive oil that was associated with "the civilized". Both traditions persisted, there were dishes but also animal fats with vegetable fats, mainly extra virgin olive oil.
Despite the prevalence of ganadaría, in Visigothic times, the olive tree was moving and even extended to mountain areas and in poor weather. St. Isidore of Seville in the sixth century states that the shade of olive trees covered the ground in Spain.
Olive cultivation improved greatly during the Caliphate of Córdoba, the Guadalquivir valley housed, without doubt, the best known olive farms. But it was not only the region Andalusia profited from the Arab region. Catalonia and Aragon also possessed excellent olive groves.
By the mid-twelfth century, Abu Zaccaria said the huge area occupied by olive groves surrounding Seville and the excellent quality of the oil produced in Astigi. Both progressed Andalusian olive growing under Muslim rule, especially in the region of Aljarafe, converted into a lush forest olive, that the words or Jarafe ajarafe were used as a synonym for well-cultivated olive. The Arabs not only improve farming techniques, irrigation land and olive oil production, but also the manufacturing of large storage jars for oil. They were largely the discoverers of medicinal, cosmetic and culinary olive oil, some of which are still in force today.
History of olive oil during the Ancient Egyptian Period
Under the reign of Ramses III was attempted in vain to cultivate olives. The failure forced the pharaoh to use castor oil for lighting and their ointments, but, however, was imported olive oil from Palestine for food, gifts and perfumes.
Olive trees were well known plants in Egypt, it is observed that among the products that were placed in the tombs of the pharaohs for power, in transit to the afterlife, often found these fruits. Anyway, the oldest reference and more reliable means olives imported olive oil from Palestine and Syria during the Fourth Dynasty. Also available documents mentioning the existence of a sacred olive tree in Heliopolis during Dynasty V and IV.
In the Fourth Dynasty, also be seen intense trade records that Egypt had with East over Cananea. Among the list of goods to be traded is olive oil from Syria and Palestine
In hieroglyphics, drawings and statues of Egyptians are numerous references to the olive tree, its branches or the fruit. In the famous tomb of Tutankhamun was found ornaments and wreaths made of olive branches and other flowers.
The Cretan olive oil is one of the most important economic decisions of ancient Egypt (2000 BC). Since olive oil, mixed with other essences, was highly regarded in the field of cosmetics. The precious ointments were kept in so-called "pots bracket". These ointments are also speaking about the mummies.
The Egyptians attributed to the goddess Isis indoctrination humanity on its cultivation and uses.
Mycenaean tables, antique clay documents, are the first written documents that speak of olive oil. These tables tell us about the importance of olive oil held in the court of King Minos of Crete for the economy, some 2,500 years before Christ.
In ancient Egypt there were perfume with olive oil. These are known as the main ingredient that lead, or the place of its origin. The perfume oils are the closest thing to our current scents, having a more or less liquid, used in small amounts and stored in small jars or alabaster or glass vials.
These beautiful containers were originating in Egypt, for there is produced the world's most famous perfume old and was where they were needed. Were glass with delicate colors, among which is yellow, very difficult to obtain. At present, in Egypt are still made really delicate scent bottles, although Arabic aspect and therefore totally different from the Pharaonic. The Egyptian perfume was strong and durable which dominated the smell of cinnamon and myrrh. Like most expensive perfumes was colorless. That was 8 years old was much more appreciated than recently. It is not known if this perfume is always manufactured in Egypt, but in the fourth century still sold in Athens
The skylights are small olive oil lamps, made of mud and goldsmiths squandered them all their imagination and creativity in decor both religious and secular.
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