Queen's University

Love and romance expert


Dr. Michael Cummings, a Queen's classics professor who specializes in ancient attitudes toward love and romance, says that while we may be more comfortable than the ancients with public physical displays of affection, we would likely cringe at the intensity of some of their public endearments.

"We expect our politicians to show up with their spouses holding hands. But no ancient Roman would consider kissing or holding hands with his wife in public. It just wouldn't happen. On the other hand, I'm sure a modern-day politician who publicly referred to his wife as 'my soul' or 'my everything', as they might in ancient times, would make people roll their eyes."

Are we more romantic than those who lived thousands of years ago? Do we express love differently? Are we more or less public in our declarations of love? Are we more focused on sex? How enduring are theories about "chemistry", "love at first sight" or "soulmates"? How traditional are flowers and perfume as tokens of romantic love?

To arrange an interview contact Queen's News & Media Services at 613-533-3227 or 533-3234.

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Last updated at 2:22 pm EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
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