As I said earlier, “ And as Romans do…it became an art or culturized. Into various forms of kissing.” They had different kinds of kisses.  Osculum was a friendship kiss …not of passion but a greeting. The infamous kiss on each cheek (Godfather kiss)  kissing rings, feet, cheeks.

The Romans used basium for erotic or passionate kissing, wanting ‘as many as the grains of sand in the desert or stars…” (Catullus to his mistress) okay you get the picture. And basium became besar in Spanish to French baiser  to, to the noisy, wet, smacking kissing of the colloquial English buss.

And then there was savium or saviolum  a kiss sweeter than sweet ambrosia (Catullus)- the kiss of wild passion…the ultimate kiss.  Today is may be called the ‘soul kiss’  or ‘French kiss’.  Ovid’s ‘Amores’ refers to this kiss of the tongue as shameful, voluptuous, and lewd.

Kissing became such an art form in Rome, it required Rome to make laws to control it. For example, if a young man kissed a girl passionately in public, he had to marry the young girl. That, at the Roman betrothal/engagement, the groom could bestow upon his bride her first kiss before everyone. Then they were married.   And even today he lifts his bride’s veil to give her her first kiss. Well, once upon a time anyway.

Roman customs and law required recognition of birth dates of Roman rulers and that they should be celebrated with festivals that dictated an affectionate kiss or holy kiss’ be given to signify affection and respect as in requiring subjects to kiss the statues of the Jupiter and his family out of respect to Rome. This symbolic kiss extended to the robes or signate rings worn by Roman generals and leaders.

But honestly, I can’t believe this osculum kiss of respect originated in Rome. It has been around throughout history all the way up to today. Especially in religions around the world.  Kissing the Tora/ Judaism, Bible/ Christians, Koran/Muslim, and idols as Budda throughout history.  This kiss of respect has ancient origins applied to all that is holy, noble and worshipped to gods, statues, temples and alters. Kings emperor. Even the sun and moon have been greeted with kisses in some cultures. And even the ground. So now to the various kinds of kisses and more.

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