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Ollivander (fl. 382 B.C.) was the wizard who arrived in Britain from, apparently, a Mediterranean country, and set up Ollivanders in 382 B.C.. An expert wandmaker, Ollivander sold to ancient British wizards whose wands were crude of construction and unreliable in performance.[2]


Early life

Ollivander was apparently an ancient Roman wizard. Based on the etymology of his name, which is said to mean "he who owns the olive wand", he may have been brought up in a Mediterranean country (olive trees not being native to Great Britain).[2]

Career as a wandmaker

It is believed by Garrick Ollivander, a descendant of this individual, that the founder of Ollivanders arrived with the Romans, setting up a stall (subsequently a shop) to manufacture and sell wands to the ancient British wizards, whose wands were crudely-made and inferior in quality and performance.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • Despite Garrick Ollivander's claims that the original Ollivander arrived to Great Britain with the Romans, this individual started his wand-making business in 382 B.C. but the Roman conquest of Britain (Britannia) only began effectively in A.D. 43, under Emperor Claudius. An earlier attempt was made in 55-54 B.C. by Julius Caesar, as an adjunct of his Gallic campaign. Prior to then, the Romans had only sporadic contact with Britain, to the point where, up until 124 B.C., many Romans did not believe the land actually existed.


Notes and references

  1. Pottermore - The Ollivander family are listed among the Sacred Twenty-Eight. However, it is unknown how far back into the family's history Cantankerus Nott researched to make that claim.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Pottermore background information on Garrick Ollivander (transcription available here)