Apple - A mythological fruit

A quick look at the apple in mythological tales.

1y ago

Apples are nowadays available any time of the year, but this fruit, which roots are native to Kazakistan, it's typically autumnal.

Green, red or yellow, fresh and bittersweet or sweet and sapid, the apple is around since the Neolithic era, and the evolutions of this fake fruit are many, in Italy, for example, there are around two thousand varieties being cultivated.

With such a long history, the apple caught the imagination of many cultures, from the biblical genesis of humankind to the Norse mythology, until being the symbol of a very well know brand.

Let's have a look at the tales about the apple.

Other than be the main ingredient of pies or be turned into delicious cyder, the apple is mostly known as the forbidden fruit. In the Holy Book, Adam and Eve lived in the garden of Eden, there was plenty of food and the place was overall a paradise, but there was something they were not allowed to eat...and it's worldwide known it was an apple. Symbol of all the knowledge, the forbidden fruit, was the only thing they cannot have. You know how all this ended, with a little help of a snake they both didn't resist to taste the untouchable apple. Definitely, it did not go well as they got their arse kicked off the Eden.

In Norse mythology, the apple is a symbol of eternal youth and life, carried by Idunn, the golden apples in her ash-wood box, helped the gods of Asgard to stay immortal. Once, Idunn was kidnapped and the people of Asgard freaked out. If there's a certitude in Norse myths is, when something goes wrong is always Loki's fault. The master of mischief to repay the help received by a giant eagle accepted to accomplish its request, have Idunn and her apples. Loki attired Idunn in a forest, saying to her that he did found apples a lot much better than hers, and then kidnapped the goddess. The Asgardians didn't take well the missing of Idunn, getting old and cracky as it never happened before. Convinced by the scary and long list of tortures the gods were planning to do to whoever fault was, Loki rescued Idunn and her apples. As usual again, this caused a series of troubles which ended in a painful way for the mischievous Loki.

Looks like the apple is an endless source of troubles... Greeks Gods know it pretty well. Even if in ancient Greece throw an apple to someone was a sort of declaration of love or of intention to make love, as Homer taught us, once it caused a war. The wedding of Peleus and the goodness of water Theti did not start brilliantly, as the two were forced to marry, but it ended worse. Eris goddess of strife and discord, stung by the fact she wasn't invited to the event, secretly tossed an apple at the party. Carved on the fruit there was written "To the most beautiful" and this caused a bit of an argument between the other goddesses. Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena started a dispute. Zeus, the father of all gods who found himself in the thorny situation of declaring the most beautiful, in front of the angry goddesses, and probably fearing for his life, decided to ask someone else. The choice fell on Paris, prince of Troy. Either Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite tried to bribe is judgment, and Paris tossed the offered skills in battle and the ownership of a big slice of the world, for the offer of the most beautiful girls on earth love. Shame the girl was Helen of Troy and that she was already married, so her kidnapping caused the Trojan war.

I'm not sure anymore that an apple a day keeps the doctor away...

What do you think?

Do you know other tales about apples?

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Comments (15)

  • I used to live near a “pick your own” veg/fruit farm. Green Apples, outstanding, nothing like fresh.

      1 year ago
  • As I bite into mine I think I'll go for the eternal youth today! Fantastic article Valentina!

      1 year ago
    • Thank you Ben, sorry for the late reply I have some issues with notifications recently 😅

        1 year ago
  • Nice article, Valentina! Are their still so many different kinds of apples in Italy? I‘ve heard that the ancient roman empire was cultivating a huge variety of apples. But the new European empire (as in EU) is not very keen on having more than 4-5 commercially grown...

      1 year ago
    • Thank you Marcus! Wikipedia says so, I guess it's right, except the main varieties/brands sold in great distribution, there are many culitived on regional level, here there is a great variability on the territory, so each zone has its own...

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        1 year ago
    • We have to trust mighty Wikipedia on that. But it‘s cool! I love to try regional fruit and veggies, especially when they are different from what you can buy in the larger stores. A couple of months ago, we bought some crooked sweet potatoes...

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        1 year ago
  • I'm not that much into apples, so I would probably still live in the garden of Eden unless the snake would try to tempt me either with cider or with a nice apple pie 😁. On the other hand life on Earth isn't too bad either 😉. Nice article Valentina!

      1 year ago
    • Thank you Jan! I'm not much into apples either, but well for a good cyder I'll be kicked out of Eden immediately 😂

        1 year ago
    • C'mon, you're in Rome, that's the next best place, isn't it 😊?

        1 year ago