Thursday, June 26, 2008


Myths, folklore, and symbolism
Laurel: Like all evergreen plants, it is an immortality symbol. In antiquity it was believed to be physically and morally cleansing. The power of granting poetic inspiration and prophecy was also ascribed to it; in addition, it was thought to protect one from lightning. It was sacred principally to Apollo. It first appeared in the context of triumphal processions because of the cleansing powers ascribed to it; people wanted to cleanse themselves of the blood spilled in war. Later it became a symbol of victory, triumph, and the immortality granted by victory. In this sense it was also used as a decoration, usually in a wreath, for outstanding accomplishments in the sciences and the arts, especially the literary arts. (Herder)

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