The first news of the fig tree (Ficus Carica) date back to very remote times: already in the pyramid of Giza, built-in the period between 4000 and 1500 BC, which was represented the collection of figs.
The ancient Egyptians have left in their sarcophagi descriptions of the techniques of salting and drying in the sun, and the methods to be followed in the construction of special buildings to keep them for long.
In Greece, where the fig tree was called “sykon,” the production was so active that it was necessary to create a special ruling class to control the trade, named siconfanti. The fame of the Greek figs was such as to find traces even in the banquets of kings of Asia Minor. It is said that Xerxes, after having enjoyed, to declare war to the Athenians, promising himself not to eat more until he had taken possession of the country that produced them.
For the Romans, there were three sacred plants: the olive, the vine and the fig. In some of his works Ovid tells that it was traditional to offer to friends and family fig fruits and honey pots early winter, as a wish for the new year begin gently.
According to the famous botanist De Candolle, the fig tree is native to Asia Minor, where it would spread first in Greece and southern Italy (Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata), then in the Mediterranean region of northern Europe, especially in France it was found to be favorable conditions for its development.
The ancient origins of the plant are also demonstrated by the presence of fruit or simply sun leaves in many artistic representations and ancient texts. Term from which we derive the word siconico, which indicates the infructescence. The term then gave origin to the Greek word sukon which stands for all those who have illegal export.
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