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  The olive tree was brought from Asia Minor to Greece by Cecropia, who according to the tradition founded Athens in the year 1582 B.C. The ancient inhabitants of Greece, who were familiar with the wild olive tree, imported cultivated ones and techniques for oil production from the Eastern Mediterranean. Its cultivation in Italy started in the seventh century B.C. during the realm of Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, called "the Old", the fifth legendary king of Rome, and reached its splendor in the second and third centuries. The olive tree continued its expansion towards the Gallia (France), where it was brought by the founders of Marseille, called Phocenses, around 600 years B. C.

  After the Punic Wars, the Romans reached Africa, and they found out that the Berbers were already cultivating the olive tree and that in the Carthaginian territories a true olive culture existed since the ninth century B.C. In the north of Africa it was introduced by the Phoenicians, who began the colonization of Western Mediterranean. The Aegean Sea, Cyprus, Crete, Sardinia and the North of Africa were further milestones in this colonizing process. In Spain at the Dawn of History, by R. J. Harrison, it is stated that towards 3000 B.C. olives were harvested and eaten in Spain. Its cultivation, nevertheless, was introduced there by the Phoenicians, probably from their bases in Northen Tunisia in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. It was from the seventh and sixth centuries on that the cultivation of the olive tree in Spain took hold specially in the Baetica (present Andalucía) under the Carthaginian domination, and in Eastern and Northeastern Spain under the influence of the Greek colonizers.

  The first "golden age" of the Andalucian olive grove coincides with the Roman period, from third century B. C. until the second century A. D. It was then that the oil exports from the Baetica to Rome peaked. Permanent witness is Mount Testaccio, formed with remnants of oil amphora that carried the Spanish oil. Lucius Moderatus Columela, a Hispano-Roman agronomer born in Cádiz in the year 3 B.C., profusely and knowingly describes in his treatises De re rustica (On rustic affairs) and De arboribus (About trees) olive tree care and oil production; he even mentions the ten main varieties that were cultivated in Roman Spain, and the various flavors of its oils. In the Arabian Andalucía, the olive tree was cultivated with extreme love, so that the Andalucian land was transformed into a compact forest of well groomed olive trees.

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