Roses have played an important role in art, religion and commerce from the time of ancient Crete almost four thousand years ago. Roses also occur as a continuing theme in the myth and folklore of the various cultures from that time forward.
However, their use as symbols, whether metaphorically or allegorically, is not recorded with any significance until the texts of classic Athenian literature. In the eighth century BC epic poem, Illiad, Homer tells us how Hector’s body was anointed with rose oil after his death at Achilles hand. Apart from the obvious reason for anointing a body with scented oils, the practice may owe its origins to the folklore of the time..