PHILTRE, was a potion given among the Greeks and Romans to excite love. It is doubtful of what these potions were composed, but their operation was violent and dangerous, often depriving those who drank them of their reason. (Ovid, Ar. Amat., ii. 106.) Lucretius is said to have died from drinking a potion of this kind, and the madness of Caligula is attributed by sonic to a similar potion, which was given him by his wife Caosonia. (Suet., Cal., 50; Juv., vi. 615, 616.) The most powerful love potions were prepared by the Thessalians, whence Juvenal speaks (vi. 610) of Thessala philtra.
Other Cool Stuff (sponsored links:)
Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)