Ancient Greeks and Romans noticed many parsley seeds didn’t germinate and decided the herb belonged to the Devil who hoarded its seeds. They didn’t dare eat this sign of the underworld, this harbinger of death, so the Greeks put wreaths of parsley in tombs. Their saying, "to need only parsley" was like our saying, "one foot in the grave." The Romans dedicated parsley to funeral rites too, making it a symbol of Persephone who left the Earth half of every year. Early Christians consecrated parsley to Saint Peter, guardian of the gates of heaven. We now know parsley seeds contain furamocoumarins, powerful chemicals that prevent nearby weed seeds from germinating. Maybe the ancients understood this magical protection power. The great poet Homer describes warriors feeding their chariot horses parsley before a battle. To keep bad spirits away, Greek gardens frequently had huge parsley borders, and Romans gave parsley wreaths to wedding guests. Some people even believed parsley would only sprout in the garden of a household run by people the Devil feared: women.