apples in history

Adam and Eve dwelled in the Garden of Eden. It was a serpent who tempted Eve, who later tempted Adam, to take a bite of an apple from the forbidden tree of knowledge. As punishment, God expelled Adam and Eve from Paradise.

Upset about not being invited, along with all the other Greek gods of Olympus, to the wedding between the hero Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis, the goddess of discord, Eris, threw a golden apple that landed among the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite with the inscription “for the fairest”. In order to settle the dispute of who the apple was for, Zeus chose the Trojan prince Paris to be the judge. To win his approval, Hera promised Paris the kingdoms of Europe and Asia, Athena promised wisdom and prowess in battle, and Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen, the bride of the Spartan king Menelaus. Paris chose Aphrodite and with her help, he seduced Helen and brought her to Troy. Menelaus sought the help of other Greek kingdoms to attack Troy and get his wife back, thus starting the Trojan War.

William Tell was a Swiss hero from the 14th century, who was a legendary expert of the crossbow. In the middle of a town square, an Austrian overlord called Gessler raised a pole with his hat on top of it and demanded all the townspeople to bow before it. William Tell, who happened to pass by this town with his son, refused to bow. Gessler sentenced Tell and his son to death, unless William could shoot an apple sitting on his son’s head. William Tell hit the apple, but was still imprisoned. He managed to escape, and later he led a rebellion against Gessler, who he eventually killed with his crossbow.

Isaac Newton, the renowned English physicist, is said to have been inspired to invent his theory of gravity in the mid-1700's when an apple fell on his head while walking through an orchard.

At the end of the 18th century, a missionary called John Chapman wandered the American frontier and planted apple orchards, which he left to the care of local people. He became known as Johnny Appleseed, one of America’s first conservationists.