In old times, a laurel wreath, made from interwoven leaves of the bay laurel plant, was worn top top the head of queens to denote imperial power and authority. The has withstood for millennia as among the defining symbols of ancient Rome and also continues come be provided today. Yet why laurel and why a wreath? here’s a closer look in ~ the rich background and meaning of the laurel wreath.

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History that the Laurel Wreath


The laurel tree, typically known as the Laurus nobilis, is a large shrub through green, smooth leaves, aboriginal to the Mediterranean region. In old Greece, it was a symbol specialized to Apollo, and also later embraced by Romans together a symbol of triumph. The laurel wreath has actually been offered in a selection of ways and also features in many old Roman and Greek myths.

Apollo and also Daphne

In the Greek myth of Apollo and also Daphne, laurel symbolized an unrequited love. That is said that Apollo fell in love v Daphne, a nymph that didn’t feeling the same method about him, so she climate transformed into a laurel tree as an escape. As a method to cope through his grief, Apollo provided the laurel pipeline from the tree and wore it as a crown.

Victor’s Reward

The old Pythian Games, a series of athletic festivals and also musical competitions, were hosted in honor of Apollo as the god the music, poetry, and sports—and winners were crowned with laurel wreath. Therefore it came to be akin come a medal at the Olympics and also was extremely coveted.


In old Roman religion, Victoria was the goddess that victory, often shown crowning gods and also emperors with a laurel wreath in she hands. From the coins of Octavian Augustus come coins from the moment of Constantine the Great, kings were illustrated with a laurel wreath top top the head.

Military Honor

Originally make from laurel leaves however later fashioned indigenous gold, Corona Triumphalis, a laurel wreath, to be awarded come military leaders who to be victors of an excellent battles. In decorative arts, the motif is checked out in paintings, mosaics, sculptures, and architecture.

Meaning and also Symbolism that Laurel Wreath

There are various meanings of laurel wreath transparent history. Right here are few of them:

A symbol of Honor and Victory – In old Greece and also Rome, it to be awarded come athletes, soldiers, and winners of Pythian Games. During the Renaissance Era, good poets were crowned through laurel wreath to signify them together princes amongst poets. Together such, the laurel wreath ended up being a symbol of accomplishment and success, much like one Olympic medal or one Oscar, today.A symbol of Success, Fame, and Prosperity – When the laurel wreath to be on the head that rulers that Greece and also Rome, that signified your rank, status, and sovereignty. If you check out a portrait of Julius Caesar, opportunities are he is wearing a laurel. Napoleon Bonaparte likewise used it as one the emblems the his French Empire.A price of Protection – There to be a belief that lightning never ever struck a laurel tree, so roman inn Emperor Tiberius wore a laurel wreath top top his head as protection. In folk tradition, the is likewise regarded as apotropaic plant to ward turn off evil, and known for its medicine properties.

According come The American journal of Philology, laurel leaves were used in purification rites. In folklore ~ Apollo had actually slain the Python, he purified himself with a laurel, i beg your pardon was believed to safeguard the slayer from evil spirits whether they were those of beast or men.

Laurel Wreath in contemporary Times

The laurel wreath is alive and well today, ubiquitous about the world. Execute you recognize some colleges about the human being crown graduates through a laurel wreath together a price of victory, in state of scholastic achievements? The motif is likewise imprinted on modern Olympic gold medals, and also commonly supplied in logos and heraldry.

Fashion and also jewelry designs likewise feature the motif from headbands come hoop earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and also rings. Some attribute realistic depiction of a laurel wreath in silver- or gold, when others space studded with priceless stones.

Gifting a Laurel Wreath

Because that its association v victory, success and also achievement, items illustrating a laurel wreath makes for symbolic gifts. Right here are part occasions as soon as a laurel wreath gift is ideal:

Graduation Gift – as a gift to a new graduate, the laurel wreath symbolizes success and achievement, but additionally a look towards the future and a wish for future success. Take into consideration jewelry or a decorative item illustrating the symbol.Goodbye Gift – because that a loved one relocating away, a laurel wreath gift wishes them success and hope for the future.Anniversary Gift – as an anniversary gift for a love one, a laurel wreath jewelry item speaks volumes. Some principles it means include: You’re mine achievement; Together are successful; You’re mine crowning glory; Our partnership is victorious.New mommy Gift – for a brand-new mom, a laurel wreath gift symbolizes a brand-new chapter and a great achievement.For a human in a complicated Situation – A laurel wreath gift is a reminder the they will get rid of the case to come to be victorious and successful. This is only a setback and also shouldn’t define them.

What is a laurel wreath used for?

A laurel wreath is supplied as a price of victory, success and accomplishment and dates back to Greek mythology. It can be offered in decorate items or in fashion, as a meaningful symbol.

What does a laurel wreath tattoo symbolize?

The laurel wreath is a well-known tattoo symbol since of its associations v success and triumph. It can be seen as a symbol of success over oneself and one’s vices.

What walk laurel smell like?

Laurel, as a plant, has actually a sweet, spicy scent. It’s supplied in essential oils for its uplifting and invigorating aroma.

Did Romans stay laurel wreaths?

Yes, however it no a headdress worn ~ above a everyday basis. The laurel wreath was only worn by queens or nobles who had achieved an excellent success. It was an indication the they had actually triumphed.

Is the laurel discussed in the Bible?

The laurel wreath is mentioned in the brand-new Testament, referenced by Paul that was affected by Greek culture. That mentions a victor’s crown and a non-fading crown, while James mentions a laurel crown for those that persevere.

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In Brief

The laurel wreath has actually a special ar in ancient Greek and Roman cultures, and also its symbolism survive to this day. Whether represented in pipeline or precious material, it continues to be a prize of honor and victory.