Roses Throughout History

The rose has a long history in gardens and in literature. There are a number of expressions that use the rose as a metaphor. "A bed of roses" refers to the Sybarites who were able to enjoy the luxury of sleeping on mattresses filled with rose petals.

The common Latin phrase sub rosa (under the rose), meaning in strict confidence, refers to the use of the rose as a symbol of secrecy. Roses were carved in the ceilings of Roman dining rooms and over 16th-century church confessionals, in both cases to remind those under it (sub rosa) that anything said there was not for publication.

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