Friday, February 25, 2011

A Little Friday Whimsy

Being a devotee of historical research to use in my western romances, I blundered onto a site discussing the history of kissing. I thought I'd share bits and pieces of what I found. You can go to How Stuff Works to read more.

Image courtesy Amazon
"Kiss," was painted by Francesco Hayez in the 19th century. Kisses were infrequent in Western art work before this time.

"Historians really don't know much about the early history of kissing. Four texts, written in Vedic Sanskrit around 1500 B.C., describe people kissing so it was an act existing at that time. This doesn't mean that nobody kissed before then, and it doesn't mean that Indians were the first to kiss. Artists and writers may have just considered kissing too private to depict in art or literature."

Image courtesy Amazon
"After its first mention in writing, kissing didn't appear much in art or literature for a few hundred years. The Indian epic poem "Mahabharata" describes kissing on the lips as a sign of affection. The "Kama Sutra," also describes a variety of kisses. It was written in the 6th century A.D. Anthropologists who believe that kissing is a learned behavior theorize that the Greeks learned about it when Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 B.C."
"In ancient Rome, couples became betrothed by kissing passionately in front of a group of people. This is probably one reason why modern couples kiss at the end of wedding ceremonies."
 Additionally, although most people today think of love letters as "sealed with a kiss," kisses were used to seal legal and business agreements. Ancient Romans also used kissing as part of political campaigns.

Regardless of exactly how people got the idea to kiss or what they mean when they do it, anthropologists are pretty sure that people started kissing thousands of years ago and I'm pretty sure that's why so many romance books have a kiss on their cover. 
Thanks for stopping by today. For more research whimsy, visit me at Gem's Place  and sign up for my monthly newsletter here


Kayelle Allen said...

Gem, I liked this insight. Who knew that there was info from so long ago? I'm wondering now if it's true that the French began the concept of oral sex. I remember reading about it as French love. And of course the tongue-in-mouth was called a French kiss. You were "frenching." I enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing!

Gem Sivad said...

Kayelle,thanks for commenting. I found a site devoted to oral sex, too. I expect it will be coming soon to the RWBB Blog. :)

Vivien Jackson said...

Fun nibblets! Gives a lot of context to the "kissin babies" stuff that politicians do nowadays. Am so very glad I don't have to kiss my elected representatives, tho.

And Gem, I am looking forward to the info on oral sex. Fun!

Gem Sivad said...

Vivien, I live to serve. ;)


Savanna Kougar said...

Oooh, good stuff. Kisses are my favorite, and kissing is one of my most favorite activities. All kinds, and all expressions.

A long time ago, I read a couple of history books about sex. The Romans had everything going on, including, of course, oral sex.

Scarlett and James said...

Very good blog... about one of our favourite topics.

@Savanna: of course, these days Berlusconi's up to things that would make Caligula blush.

Gem Sivad said...

Savanna, I like kissing too. It is such an intimacy, sometimes it seems more erotic than a romp in bed.

Oral sex next whimsy. :)


Gem Sivad said...

Scarlett and James,

Thanks for leaving a comment. Glad you enjoyed.