A tree that Lucius Apuleius (ca. 126–173 B.C.E.) classed as
among the plants which preserve men from the influence of
evil spirits. It was also believed to give protection from lightning.
The laurel was regarded as sacred to Apollo, and it was
associated with purifying, since Apollo was the great purifier.
An evergreen, it was a symbol of immortality; its intoxicating
properties associated it with prophetic and poetic inspiration.
The Pythian priestess at Delphi in Greece used to chew laurel
leaves to enhance oracular powers. The laurel also symbolized
victory and peace. The victors in the Pythian games were
crowned with laurel. Roman generals sent news of their victories
in messages wrapped in laurel leaves, delivered to the Senate.