The history of love spells traces back to early Greco-Roman times and has persisted into the present day. Love spells date back as far as the second century BC with information about how to perform them on items such as the Greek Magical Papyri and other various historical artifacts.
Love spells are part of a greater category of erotic magic practiced by both men and women of Greco-Roman society, as well as other ancient societies. The magic had different names depending on whether it was a man or woman practicing it. Male love magic was called eros, and female love magic was called philia. Because of a woman's lack of power over her husband, many used love spells to keep their husbands near. Men used eros spells to provoke lust and passion from women they wanted.
In the Renaissance, love spells were used with marriage as the ultimate goal. Those with status and high favor in society were most likely to be targeted with love spells. Love spells were seen as a way to break through social barriers by causing a higher class person to fall in love, marry the caster and thus help them move up the social ladder. One of the most common ways to make a love spell was to create a wax image of the target person and then cast the spell.