Botany terms, our common European cultural heritage.

"As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses: I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." Ovid

Chloris project is carried out by students of Classics from three European highschools: IES URBI BHI (Basauri, Basque Country, Spain), Istituto Istruzione Superiore Plinio Seniore (Castellammare di Stabia, Campania, Italy) and Varvakeio Experimental Highschool (Athens, Attica, Greece).

Project´s outputs: virtual herbarium, virtual glossary, Portfolio

Project objectives:

-To read, understand, translate, and analyse original and adapted classical texts.

-To identify, understand, analyze, and use the names of the trees plants and flowers in Classical Languages.

-To improve language competencies (Reading, listening, speaking and writing) in Latin and Greek.

-To recognize and appreciate the Classical languages` common heritage in the Botany vocabulary terms of students` languages (English, Italian, Spanish, Basque, and Greek).

-To read and analyse classical mythological fables related to trees, plants and flowers (Narcissus, Ciparisius, Dafne, Echo...)

-To investigate on the relationship between Olympian gods and goddesses and their associated plants.

Our multicultural teams

Our teachers

Karmele Lopez de Abetxuko (IES Urbi BHI)

María Jesús Ramírez (IES Urbi BHI)

Giovanna Domestico (Liceo Statale Plinio Seniore)

Katerina Tzamou (Varvakeio Experimental High School)

Athina Violaki ((Varvakeio Experimental High School))

Vos eritis testes, si quos habet arbor amores, fagus et Arcadio pinus arnica deo. Propertius, Elegies 18

PITYS (Pitus), a nymph beloved by Pan, was changed into a pine tree. (Lucian, Dial. Deor. 22. 4; Virg. Eclog. vii. 24.).

She fled to escape Pan`s advances and was transformed into a fir tree.

Pitys was a forest nymph so beautiful that she attracted both the satyr Pan and the stormy Boreas, the Wind of the North.
When she had to choose between the two gods, Pitys bestowed her favors upon Pan, since Pan was making less noise. Insulted and thirsty for revenge, Boreas tossed Pitys from a rock.

When Pan found the nymph unresponsive, he took pity on her and transformed her into his sacred tree, the pine tree. From then on, the nymph weeps every time the North Wind blows. Her teardrops are the droplets of pine resin that dribble down each autumn of the year.

Classical quotations on the pine

Greek texts about the pine

Homer, Odyssey V, 237-245, 239

ἦρχε δ᾽ ὁδοῖο νήσου ἐπ᾽ ἐσχατιῆς, ὅθι δένδρεα μακρὰ πεφύκει,

κλήθρη τ᾽ αἴγειρός τ᾽, ἐλάτη τ᾽ ἦν οὐρανομήκης,

240 αὖα πάλαι, περίκηλα, τά οἱ πλώοιεν ἐλαφρῶς.

αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ δὴ δεῖξ᾽, ὅθι δένδρεα μακρὰ πεφύκει,

ἡ μὲν ἔβη πρὸς δῶμα Καλυψώ, δῖα θεάων,

αὐτὰρ ὁ τάμνετο δοῦρα: θοῶς δέ οἱ ἤνυτο ἔργον.

εἴκοσι δ᾽ ἔκβαλε πάντα, πελέκκησεν δ᾽ ἄρα χαλκῷ,

245 ξέσσε δ᾽ ἐπισταμένως καὶ ἐπὶ στάθμην ἴθυνεν.

Calypso gave him a great axe, well fitted to his hands, [235] an axe of bronze, sharpened on both sides; and in it was a beautiful handle of olive wood, securely fastened; and thereafter she gave him a polished adze. Then she led the way to the borders of the island where tall trees were standing, alder and popular and fir, reaching to the skies, [240] long dry and well-seasoned, which would float for him lightly. But when she had shewn him where the tall trees grew, Calypso, the beautiful goddess, returned homewards, but he fell to cutting timbers, and his work went forward apace. Twenty trees in all did he fell, and trimmed them with the axe;

Homer, Iliad XIII 383-390, 389

ὡς εἰπὼν ποδὸς ἕλκε κατὰ κρατερὴν ὑσμίνην

ἥρως Ἰδομενεύς: τῷ δ᾽ Ἄσιος ἦλθ᾽ ἐπαμύντωρ

385 πεζὸς πρόσθ᾽ ἵππων: τὼ δὲ πνείοντε κατ᾽ ὤμων

αἰὲν ἔχ᾽ ἡνίοχος θεράπων: ὃ δὲ ἵετο θυμῷ

Ἰδομενῆα βαλεῖν: ὃ δέ μιν φθάμενος βάλε δουρὶ

λαιμὸν ὑπ᾽ ἀνθερεῶνα, διὰ πρὸ δὲ χαλκὸν ἔλασσεν.

ἤριπε δ᾽ ὡς ὅτε τις δρῦς ἤριπεν ἢ ἀχερωῒς

390 ἠὲ πίτυς βλωθρή, τήν τ᾽ οὔρεσι τέκτονες ἄνδρες

ἐξέταμον πελέκεσσι νεήκεσι νήϊον εἶναι:

But Asius came to bear aid to Othryoneus, [385] on foot in front of his horses; and these twain the squire that was his charioteer ever drave so that their breath smote upon the shoulders of Asius. And he was ever fain of heart to cast at Idomeneus; but the other was too quick for him, and smote him with a cast of his spear on the throat beneath the chin, and drave the bronze clean through. And he fell as an oak falls, or a poplar, [390] or a tall pine that among the mountains shipwrights fell with whetted axes to be a ship's timber;

Homer, Iliad XVI 480-485, 482

ὃ δ᾽ ὕστερος ὄρνυτο χαλκῷ

480 Πάτροκλος: τοῦ δ᾽ οὐχ ἅλιον βέλος ἔκφυγε χειρός,

ἀλλ᾽ ἔβαλ᾽ ἔνθ᾽ ἄρα τε φρένες ἔρχαται ἀμφ᾽ ἁδινὸν κῆρ.

ἤριπε δ᾽ ὡς ὅτε τις δρῦς ἤριπεν ἢ ἀχερωῒς

ἠὲ πίτυς βλωθρή, τήν τ᾽ οὔρεσι τέκτονες ἄνδρες

ἐξέταμον πελέκεσσι νεήκεσι νήϊον εἶναι:

But Patroclus in turn rushed on with the bronze, and not in vain did the shaft speed from his hand, but smote his foe where the midriff is set close about the throbbing heart. And he fell as an oak falls, or a poplar, or a tall pine, that among the mountains shipwrights fell with whetted axes to be a ship's timber;

Latin texts about the pine

1.- Grandissimus pineis nucibus altissimeque suspensus. intus exiles nucleos includit, vestitos alia ferruginis túnica… singularis remedii adversus tussim in melle decoctis nucleis… pinea corona victores apud Isthmum coronantur.

La piña) es la más grande entre los frutos de los pinos y suspendido a mayor altura. En su interior encierra pequeñas almendras, vestidas con otra envoltura de color del hierro… las almendras cocidas en miel son excelente remedio contra la tos... Una corona de pino corona a los vencedores de los juegos Ístmicos.


2.-Peregrinae tum videbantur, quoniam non erant suburbanae, pinus atque abies omnesque, quae picem gignunt. .

(Los pinos) se consideraban exóticos, porque faltaban en los alrededores el pino piñonero , el abeto y todos (los árboles) que producen pez.

3.- Picem in Europa sex genera cognatarum arborum ferunt. ex his pinus atque pinaster folium habent capillamenti modo praetenue longumque et mucrone aculeatum. pinus fert minimum resinae.

En Europa producen pez 6 especies de árboles. Entre éstos el pino piñonero y el pino marítimo tienen la hoja como una cabellera, muy fina, larga y pintiaguda. El pino piñonero da poca resina (es el que menos resina da).


4.-Pinaster nihil est aliud quam pinus silvestris minor altitudine et a medio ramosa, sicut pinus in vertice. copiosiorem dat haec resinam. gignitur et in planis.

El pino marítimo no es más que un pino Silvestre menos elevado y con ramas a partir de la mitad de su altura,como el pino piñonero en la cima. Da una resina muy abundante. Nace también en la llanura.


5.-Fraxinus in silvis pulcherrima, pinus in hortis,

populus in fluviis, abies in montibus altis:

saepius at si me, Lycida formose, revisas,

fraxinus in silvis cedat tibi, pinus in hortis.

el fresno es el más bello árbol de los bosques, el pino de los jardines,

el chopo de los ríos, el abeto de las altas montañas:

más sabio pero si, Hermosa Lucida, me miras,

el fresno se retire ante ti en los bosques, el pino en los jardines.

Virgilio, Egloga, VII, 57

Pine tree Symbolism

Pine tree symbolism includes creativity, life, longevity and immortality.
Pine Cone - Immortality and Fertility
The ancient Greeks and Assyrians viewed the pine cone "as a symbol of masculinity because of its phallic shape. It formed the apex of the thyrsus staff, which represented both fertility and immortality".

As the emblem of Artemis, it represented feminine purity.

It was also the emblem of the Roman goddess Venus (Aphrodite).

In Christianity, the pine cone forms the crown of the Tree of Life, the Christ`s cross wood, and the symbol of resurrection: Christmass tree.
In the Chinese culture, the pine tree symbolizes longevity / eternal youth and steadfastness.

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A beautiful shepherd

According to Ovid (Fast. iv. 221), Cybele loved the beautiful shepherd, and made him her own priest on condition that he should preserve his chastity inviolate. Atys broke the covenant with a nymph, the daughter of the river-god Sangarius, and was thrown by the goddess into a state of madness, in which he unmanned himself. When in consequence he wanted to put an end to his life, Cybele changed him into a firtree, which henceforth became sacred to her, and she commanded that, in future, her priests should be eunuchs.
Mikel Deuna Dantza Taldea - Zinta Dantza - Bilbao Aste Nagusia 2013
Danza de las Cintas (Valle de Camargo, Cantabria)
2012 Fairy Festival with Rockford Dance Company at Womanspace: Maypole Dance


The Pityusic Islands,often referenced simply as the Pityuses (Catalan: Pitiüses, Spanish: Pitiusas; from the Greek (πιτύα pitýa, pine tree), or commonly but informally (and ambiguously) as the Pine Islands, is the name given collectively to the Balearic islands of Ibiza (Catalan: Eivissa), Formentera, S'Espalmador and other small islets in the Mediterranean Sea.


Theseus came to the area of the Isthmus of Corinth, where he encountered the infamous "Sinis the Pine-bender". Sinis would ask travellers to help him bend a huge pine, and would unexpectedly let go throwing the traveller to his death, against the mountainside. Already knowing Sinis' methods, Theseus tricked Sinis himself, into being thrown by the pine.