Storytime with Up: Why the Hesperides apples were in fact Oranges 🍊

1 April 2021Σχετικα Με Εμάς
Happy April Fools' Day! Our Business Developer Chara loves mythology and we asked her to share a little story today about - what else - the Orange! We couldn't even imagine how interesting it would turn out to be!

Do you love old stories? 🧐

Here's an ancient Greek myth that you might find interesting……

Orange has an old mythical relationship with Argolida. The lord of Tiryns, Eurystheus, sent Hercules for his eleventh feat to the distant land of Atlanta to bring him the Hesperides golden apples. The apples of Hesperides were according to Greek mythology, the golden fruits of the trees that were in the garden of Hesperides. The golden fruits were a gift from Gaia to Hera for her marriage to Zeus. Symbols of marital happiness and fertility, the golden fruits were guarded by the nymphs Hesperides and the scary Ladonas, the snake with a hundred heads.

Hercules succeeded after many adventures to mock Atlanta and snatched three golden apples from the nymphs. However, the golden fruits did not stay in the Argolic land. The king gave them back to Hercules. Then Hercules gave them to Athena who took them back to the garden of Hesperides because the theft of Hercules was an unholy and obscene act.

But this myth has a beautiful secret….

The fruits of the trees, the golden Hesperides apples that Hercules stole, were much more than just apples…They were in fact oranges! 🍊 According to later interpretations of the legend, it was decided that the “golden apples”  ( because of their color) given to Hera by Gaia on her wedding to Zeus, were actually oranges. Based on that, the Greek botanical name of citruses is “Hesperidoeidē” and it is well known that the orange fruit belongs to the family of citruses (Hesperidoeidē).

The interpretation of the myth:

The golden fruits of the Myth, obviously, try to interpret the origin of the oranges as well as their arrival in Argolida, and Greece more widely. The golden apples that were so important finally proved to be a superior fruit!!! This superior fruit belonged to the citrus and was the well-loved orange!!! 🧡

So nothing is as it seems…. 😉

‘Garden of the Hesperides’, Sir Edward Burne-Jones

‘Garden of the Hesperides’, Sir Edward Burne-Jones

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