Apples in Mythology
Throughout time, apples have been revered by cultures around the world. In various mythologies, apples are used as a symbol of love, beauty, and wisdom.
Gaia (Mother Earth) presented an apple tree to Zeus and Hera on their wedding day as a symbol of their love.
The huntress Atalanta refused to marry unless the suitor could defeat her in a foot race. One suitor, Milanion, accomplished this by dropping three golden apples (gifts from Venus, the goddess of love) during the race. Atalanta stopped to pick them up, lost the race, and married Milanion.
Eris, the goddess of discord, became enraged because she was not invited to the wedding of a fellow god and goddess. She tossed the guests an apple with the inscription, "For the Fairest." Three goddesses, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite thought the apple was intended for them. To end the dispute, Paris, a mortal, was given the task of judging. The apple was awarded to Aphrodite. The other goddesses were furious and brought devastation on Paris and his family. According to legend, the clamor eventually led to the Trojan War.
The god Bragi was distinguished for his nobility and wisdom. He married Idun, the goddess of eternal youth and the guardian of the "golden apples." Her magic prevented the gods from aging.
In Native American Indian Mythology
To the Iroquois, the apple tree is the Central Tree of Life.
In the Bible
The apple tree was regarded as the Tree of Knowledge and Tree of Immortality.