This herb has quite a lively history within Roman and Greek mythology and has been used throughout the ages for a large variety of purposes by these groups of people. The Ancient Greek people called the fennel plant “marathon”, which means “grow thin” and reflects the belief in its ability to suppress appetite. The town of Marathon, site of the famous battle between the Athenians and the Persians, means “place of fennel”. After the battle, the Athenians used woven fennel stalks as a symbol of victory.
Most people are familiar with the story of how Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gave it as a gift to mankind. According to Greek mythology, it was the stalk of a fennel plant that he used to steal the fire from the Gods. A giant fennel plant was said to have spawned the Greek god Dionysus’ Bacchanalian wands and his followers. Such a colorful history befits this small herb; it would seem that it has had as many uses throughout mythology as it still does today.