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History of Kissing from Ancient Rome to Modern Day by Sheril Kirshenbaum - The Daily Beast

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As Valentine's Day approaches, it's the perfect time to explore why humans kiss. From a strictly reproductive standpoint, kisses are certainly not required and many cultures have flourished without a single peck.

The earliest literary evidence we have for kissing dates back to around 1500 B.C. from India's Vedic Sanskrit texts, the foundations of the Hindu religion. There is no mention of the word "kiss," but we do find intriguing references to "licking," and "drinking moisture of the lips." By the third century A.D., the Vatsyayana Kamasutra (better known as the Kama Sutra), included an entire chapter lavishly describing ways of kissing a lover. A Babylonian creation story known as the Enuma elish recorded on stone tablets in the seventh century B.C. contains several kisses in greeting and supplication. The Old Testament abouts with mentions of kissing...

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