About what types of love ancient Greeks spoke

About what types of love ancient Greeks spoke

The love was closely connected with culture and philosophy of ancient Greeks. To describe love as feeling and a state, Platon, Socrates, Aristotle, Lukian and many other philosophers of Ancient Greece tried to give definition to love. Learning friendly, love, erotic relations, thinkers of the past did them by a source of reflections about meaning of life. Four types of love: Eros, fillet, stroge and agapesis, most often meet in the written sources which reached our days.

The love in life of ancient Greeks played an important role. It impregnated myths, works of art and philosophical treatises of Ancient Greece. Not without reason Greeks distinguished all its shades and nuances. Moreover, the love was the prime cause of all real.


The word "fili" for the first time meets in Herodotus's works and originally means the peace treaty between the states. Later the concept love friendship was assigned to this word. Judging by the statements of ancient philosophers, the filia is the feeling arising in relation to friends and dear people, reaching a full unification of souls. The basis of friendship is formed by not sensual attachment, but mutual support which was substantially necessary to the Greeks which are constantly developing new territories, protecting the cities, and undertaking new campaigns.

Achilles and Patroclos's history who went in search of glory to the Trojan war is an example of such love friendship. Friends divided affairs, a table, a tent. And when Patroclos fell in unequal fight with Trojans, the legendary hero of the Trojan epos who refused to battle before it goes to revenge for the death of the friend. Platon understood friendship as commitment to excellence, emotional proximity of friends, sincere attachment. The theory described in Platon's works received the name "Platonic love".


Ancient Greek philosophers reflected on Eros especially. It was defined by specific position of the woman in society. The female wife to whom reproduction and housekeeping were imputed duties was not a subject of adoration and love for the husband. "Only twice the wife pleases you: on the wedding day and in day of its funeral", – writes Gipponakt from the Hilt. Men enjoyed in the company of heteras, but also spoke of them impartially. Menandr's statement about women reached our days: "Among the strange animals inhabiting the land and the sea, really the most terrible animal – the woman". For the first time Platon used the word "Eros". In the composition "Feast" Platon shares love into true and rough and sensual. "Feast" comprises the myth about origin of Eros, the eternal companion of Aphrodite. Gods of poverty and wealth – Singing were his parents and Overgrew. It was conceived on a feast on the occasion of the birth of the goddess of love, as predetermined its subsequent service. Erot it was weaved from contradictions, in it the roughness and aspiration to fine, ignorance and wisdom were combined. Erot is an embodiment of love which at the same time can aspire to death and immortality. Platon conducts a thought to the fact that the love is an ascension to the highest ideals. Its Eros is Eros of knowledge and esthetic pleasure. Aristotle considers love not only from the esthetic point of view. In "Stories of animals" the thinker in detail describes sexual behavior and connects it with sensual pleasures from food, drink and a coition. However in "Nikomakhovy ethics" Aristotle carries out a thought that not Eros, but a fili is the prime target and advantage of love. The sensuality and thirst for pleasures were most peculiar to epicureans. Nevertheless, Epicurus said that Eros peculiar to all live on the earth, has to be controlled. He noted that love pleasures never bring advantage, the main thing is not to do much harm to people around, friends and relatives.

Stroge and agape

stroge ancient Greeks understood as a word love of parents for children, children to parents. In today's understanding stroge is an also gentle attachment of spouses to each other. The love of god for people and love of people for god, sacrificial love is defined by the concept "agape". At the beginning of Christianity, this word got a revolutionary shade. The first attempts of Christians to translate bible texts into Greek encountered a number of difficulties – what word to use filia, eros, mania? The revolutionary Christian idea required revolutionary solutions. Thus, to give the neutral word "agapesis" which designated love aspiration, turned into the comprehensive concept "God Is Love". Ancient Greeks did not know a concept of a sin in the context of love, a sensuality and sexuality. Offenses of social and moral character – crimes and injustice were considered as a sin. With distribution of Christianity the world filled with slow observations and reflection about human nature in which family virtues, fidelity, friendship and love in all its manifestations became famous disappeared.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team