The origin of the word "laurels". Laurels are ...

Laura is a symbol of victory, which leadsa story from antiquity. This word comes from the name of a subtropical plant. Why did the ancient Greeks reward the winners with a wreath woven from the leaves of this tree? What does the expression "rest on laurels" mean?

laurels are


Laurel is an evergreen tree whose leavescontain a large amount of essential oil. These plants are quite common in the territory of ancient Greece. It is not surprising that they are so often mentioned in the myths of the ancient people. And first of all in the legend about how the god Apollo fell in love with the girl, but his love remained unrequited.


What is the myth about?One of the main gods in the ancient Greek legends is Apollo. On his account, there were many victories, but he could not win the main. It was not possible for Apollo to win the heart of his beloved girl. And everything happened after a harmless joke, which he allowed himself to utter to Eros - a small, but sometimes insidious deity, dissecting ancient Greek spaces with golden onions in plump hands.

The mischievous sent his arrows to where he waswill. The victims of Eros lost the ability to think about anything other than about the subject of their sighing. Suffered from his aptness once and Apollo.

In the heart of the god of beauty came an arrow that causedlove, and in the heart of a nymph named Daphne - an arrow that rejects this feeling. From now on, Apollo was destined to suffer from an undivided sympathy. Daphne not only could not respond to this feeling, but also avoided the pursuer in every possible way. Once it turned into a tree. Namely in the laurel.

This tree Apollo greatly fell in love.And since he still had many victories ahead of him, the inhabitants of Ancient Greece decided to use the leaves of the plant as a symbolic reward for the one who proved to be the strongest in the competitions held in honor of the god.

holy laurels

Pythian Games

It was these rather spectacular activities that werecreated in honor of the god of beauty, the patron of the arts. In addition to the Pythian, in Ancient Greece were also held Olympic, Nemean and Isthmian. It is worth saying that contests of various kinds in the ancient empire were far from the last value. The ancient Greeks competed in everything: in power, knowledge, the ability to play musical instruments and so on. They believed that the Pythian games were established not by the mortal, but by Apollo himself. Initially these were exclusively musical competitions. The laurel wreath was placed on the winner's head. It was an extremely honorable award.

The culture of Ancient Greece became the basis of literatureand the arts of later states. Her influence is felt today. The laurel wreath is an eternal symbol of victory. Even the word "laureate" comes from the name of the plant, which once turned into the sweetheart of Apollo. The image of the leaves of this tree is quite often found on various medals, charters.

rest on one's laurels


There are several stable expressions with the word "laurels". To become the owner of a wreath from this plant for many centuries dreamed ambitious people. Envious people did not give rest to other people's laurels.

Let's return to the ancient Greek myths.In ancient legends there is also such a character as Herostratus. Once he decided to become famous. Only he had no special physical strength, no skills for the arts. So he decided to burn the temple of Artemis. And he became famous. However, his fame was black, villainous.

And of course, it is worth remembering the expression mentionedabove: "rest on our laurels". What does it mean? The phrase is used when it comes to a person who has achieved special results in any area, after which he has the opportunity to use all the benefits of the winner.

Do not confuse the name of the plant,symbolizing the victory, with the status of Orthodox male monasteries. The holy laurels in Russia are already phenomena related to Christianity, but not to the ancient Greek paganism.

  • Rating: