Philter

(A). A draught or charm to incite in another the passion of love. The Thessalian philters were the most renowned, but both the Greeks and Romans used these dangerous potions, which sometimes produced insanity. Lucretius is said to have been driven mad by a love-potion, and Caligula's death is attributed to some philters administered to him by his wife, Cæsonia. Brabantio says to Othello-

Thou hast practised on her [Desdemona] with foul charms,
Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
That weaken motion.

Shakespeare: Othello, i. 1. (“Philter,” Greek, philtron, philos, loving.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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