They are believed to have started the art of kissing around 1500bc with the Vedic Sanskrit. Buried in those writing are references to pressing and rubbing noses as a sign of affections. And then… about 500 to a 1000 years later in the Mahabharata the act of lip kissing began and by the 5th century AD Vatsyayana recorded verses written in the Kama Sutra which elaborates on examples of erotic kissing etc…
Now the Greeks were busy too about 326BC. Alexander the Great, who did delve as far as India, did pick up this ‘kissing disease’ as told by Strabo, Arrian and other historians. Alexander and his men must have taken a fondness to this practice and brought it to the Mediterranean area.
Thus the Romans. And as Romans do…it became an art or culturized. Into various forms of kissing. (More on that coming)
Or Blame the Druids.
Some say the Celts invented kissing…under the mistletoe. Afterall, they dominated Europe from the 5th to the 1st centuries BC. They started the rites that began with the oak tree.(a good druid priest was never seen without his oak branch on his belt. They were responsible for the ‘knock on the wood’ for good luck too.)
Yes, they kissed under the mistletoe. But why?
Balder and Loki of the Norse Myths. You see nothing could kill Balder the Beautiful except the tiny leachy vine of mistletoe. Loki tricked the blind Hoder to throw it at Balder during a game of see if you can hurt Balder with something. And mistletoe killed Balder.
At his funeral his wife Nanna was so grieved with love and loss that she flung herself onto his burning boat to be with him forever. Such love
Mistletoe to the Celts was a powerful herb. It could heal disease, make poisons harmless, make childless women fertile, protect against evil spells bring blessing from the gods. So they hug the herb on their doorframes. Even warriors were not allowed to fight under it and if warriors they had to greet each other or else.
So, kissing under the mistletoe, brought peace, friendship and fertility to any who kissed under it.