“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” These are poetic words written by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet.
Anyone would forgive you if you thought rose flowers are a modern-day gift. However, no one will ever forgive you for not knowing the relationship between love and rose flowers.
This article will give a historical overview of romance and rose flowers.
Red Roses In Ancient Time
Rose flower has existed for over 35 million years. This is according to archeological fossil evidence. The association of love with rose flower date back to the time humans started crafting art and culture.
- The Myth of Rose Flower Associated with Goddess of Love
In Western Culture, it’s believed that rose flower was a creation of Aphrodite, the Love Goddess. The theory states that the flower grew from the ground watered with blood and tears of Aphrodite’s ill-fated lover Adonis.
According to a Greek myth, Cupid was stung by a bee and accidentally shot an arrow into a rose garden. The flowers grew thorns as a result. Later, Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love was pricked by the thorns and bled while walking in the garden. The roses were turned to red by the color of her blood.
- Use of Roses by Romans
Wealthy Romans used the rose flower as a symbol of beauty and love. They filled their bedchambers with roses to provide a pleasant fragrance and soft surface. The practice was associated with Venus, the goddess of love.
Rose flowers were also used to signify secrecy of love affairs. The practice began when Cupid offered a rose to his god. The rose was offered to keep Venus’s issues a secret.
In Roman, dining room ceilings were well decorated with roses to urge quests to keep quiet about everything said at the dinner.
- Rose as a Symbol for Faith and Love
From the Third Century AD, red roses were used to symbolize purity in Christianity. Saint Ambrose, believed that the Garden of Eden had thorn-less roses. The roses gained their thorns after the fall of man to symbolize sin. As a result, the Virgin Mary is often referred to as the “rose without thorns.” The name of roses created the notion of the rosary, a prayer series to virgin Mary.
Red Roses In Modern Society
With all myths and beliefs, the use of rose flower in romance went down the centuries. In modern society, the red rose is explicitly used to symbolize love. Evidence of association of rose with love is recorded in different artwork from medieval frescoes to Shakespeare.
In the 13th Century, Guillaume de Lorris composed a poem, “the whole art of love.” The rose flower is used in the poem to symbolize female sexuality. The poet uses the metaphor to expound on the French Poem “Romance of the Rose.” The poem describes a Lover’s quest for a rose flower, a symbol for his love for his fiancée.
Today, people spend Billions of moneys yearly to buy roses during the valentine day. More often, men gift female friends or lovers, flowers to express their feelings.
Whether it’s a bouquet of roses send on Valentine’s Day or a single red rose given on a date, there is no other simple way to express love than roses. A tradition that dates back to human history, it’s proving to be a magic trick in modern society.