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Society

Evia Wildfire Consumes 2,500 Year Old Olive Tree

ATHENS – As the wildfires continue in parts of Greece, Ancient Origins (AO) on August 10 noted the loss of a 2,500-year-old olive tree on the island of Evia.

Apostolis Panagiotou, a local resident, posted photos on Twitter of the famed tree on August 8, Newsweek reported.

“The ancient tree, located in the olive grove of Rovia, even featured in the writings of renowned Greek geographer, philosopher and historian Strabo, who lived about 2,000 years ago,” Newsweek reported, adding that the “images taken after fires ravaged the ancient olive grove in the north of the island show that the tree had been reduced to a hollowed out stump, with only fragments of its trunk remaining.”

Efforts to contain the fires in Greece continue and several organizations and individuals have begun international fundraising efforts for wildfire relief, including The Hellenic Initiative, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

The “island of Evia (Euboea) is the second largest Greek island after Crete,” AO reported, noting that “now, thousands of people have now evacuated the historic island” due to the wildfires raging there.

“According to Greek mythology the island of Euboea was first inhabited by the Titans, precursors and adversaries to the Greek Gods,” AO reported, adding that “it was here that the first wars between the Titans and the Giants unfolded, said to be so violent that the battles sparked earthquakes on the island.”

“Evia was said to have been separated from mainland Greece with a strike of the god Poseidon’s trident, and it was on Mount Ohi, Evia's third-highest peak and home to the mysterious ancient drakospita (dragon houses), that the nymph Makri raised the child Goddess Hera, the wife of Zeus, Father of the Gods,” AO reported.

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