Though there is no way to determine the first instance of a love spell, these spells have been documented by several cultures since the second century B.C., if not earlier. Of the many forms and traditions, there are two main types of love spells: a hex or curse, which forces another person's will to change, and a binding spell, which amplifies feelings that are already present.
Many different cultures around the world have developed love spells and potions. Historically, these spells typically involved praying to a particular god or goddess and offering a sacrifice to gain the deity's favor. The Greeks prayed and sacrificed to Aphrodite, which is where the term "aphrodisiac" comes from. Druids used combinations of natural elements to create potions that they used in various rituals.
Many instances of love spells and potions appear in literature. Socrates spoke about them in a mundane and joking way, indicating their prevalence in his time. Homer wrote about them in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey." Shakespeare included them in his plays, including "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The Celtic tradition of Tristan and Iseult (also written as Isolde) also features a love potion. More recently, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" features Amortentia, a love potion that causes intense infatuation or obsession.