The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb Nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda. It was also commonly called nard.
Lavender was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence, and nard is mentioned in the Song of Solomon (ch. 4,14)
nard and saffron,
calamus and cinnamon,
with every kind of incense tree,
with myrrh and aloes,
and all the finest spices.
During the Roman times, lavender was sold for 100 denarii per pound. This was very expensive, about the same as a month's wages for a farm laborer! It was used in baths, to scent the water, and was thought to restore the skin. Its Latin name was lavandarius, to wash, or things to be washed.
It has been said that when the Roman Empire conquered southern Britain, the Romans introduced lavender. The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned. This is the basis for the lavendine (purple sniff) drug used for medical purposes today. I had not known much of this before, and I found it interesting.