Did They Kiss in Ancient Greece?

The question of whether or not people in ancient Greece kissed is one that has puzzled historians for years. While there is no definitive answer, there are several pieces of evidence that suggest that kissing may have been a common practice during this time period.

Evidence from Literature

One of the primary sources of evidence for kissing in ancient Greece comes from literary works such as the plays of Aristophanes and the writings of Plato. In these works, characters are often depicted kissing on the lips as a sign of affection or romantic interest.

For example, in Aristophanes’ play “Lysistrata,” two characters named Calonice and Myrrhine kiss passionately on stage. Similarly, Plato’s “Symposium” includes a scene where two male characters share a kiss as part of a discussion about love and desire.

Artistic Depictions

Another piece of evidence for kissing in ancient Greece comes from artistic depictions such as pottery and sculptures. Many ancient Greek vases feature illustrations of couples engaged in romantic activities, including kissing.

One famous example is the “Wedding Procession” vase, which depicts a groom leaning down to kiss his bride as part of their wedding ceremony. Additionally, several sculptures from this time period also feature couples embracing or kissing on the lips.

Cultural Differences

While it’s clear that kissing was at least somewhat common in ancient Greece, it’s important to note that there may have been cultural differences in how the practice was viewed and practiced compared to modern times.

For example, some historians believe that kissing was primarily reserved for romantic partners or close family members rather than being a casual greeting like it is today. There may have also been differences in how men and women were allowed to express physical affection towards each other.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while there is no definitive answer to whether or not people in ancient Greece kissed, there is evidence to suggest that it was at least somewhat common. Literary works and artistic depictions provide some insight into how the practice was viewed and practiced during this time period.

As with many aspects of ancient history, however, it’s important to remember that cultural differences may have influenced how kissing was viewed and practiced compared to modern times. Overall, the question of whether or not they kissed in ancient Greece remains an intriguing mystery that continues to fascinate historians and laypeople alike.