Apples in Mythology

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.

Greek Mythology

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 enreaged 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 they were worthy. To end the dispute, Paris, a mortal, was given the task of judging. The apple was awarded to aphrodite. The other goddesses were futious and brought devastation on Paris and his family. According to legend, the clamor eventually led to the Trojan War.

Teutonic Mythology

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.