Greek words for love

The Greek language distinguishes at least four different ways as to how the word love is used. Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. However, as with other languages, it has been difficult to distinguish the separate meanings of these words without carefully considering the context in which the words are used. Nonetheless, the senses in which these words were generally used are as follows:

  • Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means "love: esp. charity; the love of God for man and of man for a good God."[2] Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one's children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast.[3] Agape is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for his children.[4] This type of love was further explained by Thomas Aquinas as "to will the good of another."[5]
  • Éros (ἔρως érōs) means "love, mostly of the sexual passion."[6] The Modern Greek word "erotas" means "intimate love". Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, "without physical attraction". In the Symposium, the most famous ancient work on the subject, Plato has Socrates argue that eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth, the ideal "Form" of youthful beauty that leads us humans to feel erotic desire – thus suggesting that even that sensually based love aspires to the non-corporeal, spiritual plane of existence; that is, finding its truth, just like finding any truth, leads to transcendence.[7] Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth through the means of eros.
  • Philia (φιλία philía) means "affectionate regard, friendship", usually "between equals".[8] It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle.[9] In his best-known work on ethics, Nicomachean Ethics, philia is expressed variously as loyalty to friends (specifically, "brotherly love"), family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. Furthermore, in the same text philos denotes a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
  • Storge (στοργή storgē) means "love, affection" and "especially of parents and children".[10] It is the common or natural empathy, like that felt by parents for offspring.[11] Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in "loving" the tyrant. This is also used when referencing the love for one's country or a favorite sports team.

See also

References

  1. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (eds.). "ἀγάπη". A Greek-English Lexicon. Perseus. Tufts University.
  2. ^ Liddell, H. G.; Scott, Robert (October 2010). An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon: Founded upon the seventh edition of Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon. Benediction Classics. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-84902-626-0.
  3. ^ "Greek Lexicon". GreekBible.com. The Online Greek Bible. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  4. ^ Romans 5:5, 5:8
  5. ^ "St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 26, 4, corp. art". Newadvent.org. Retrieved 2010-10-30.
  6. ^ ἔρως, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  7. ^ translated from the Greek by Walter Hamilton, Plato (1973). The Symposium (Repr. ed.). Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin. ISBN 9780140440249.
  8. ^ φιλία, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  9. ^ "Philosophy of Love (Philia)". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  10. ^ στοργή, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  11. ^ Strong B, Yarber WL, Sayad BW, Devault C (2008). Human sexuality: diversity in contemporary America (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-07-312911-2.

Sources

Affair

An affair is a sexual relationship, romantic friendship, or passionate attachment between two people without the attached person's significant other knowing.

Agape

Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agapē) is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, "the highest form of love, charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". The word is not to be confused with philia, brotherly love, or philautia, self-love, as it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance. It goes beyond just the emotions to the extent of seeking the best for others. The noun form first occurs in the Septuagint, but the verb form goes as far back as Homer, translated literally as affection, as in "greet with affection" and "show affection for the dead". Other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to eros (an affection of a sexual nature).

Within Christianity, agape is considered to be the love originating from God or Christ for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; the term necessarily extends to the love of one's fellow man. Some contemporary writers have sought to extend the use of agape into non-religious contexts.The concept of agape has been widely examined within its Christian context. It has also been considered in the contexts of other religions, religious ethics, and science.

Amour de soi

Amour de soi (French, "self-love") is a concept in the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that refers to the kind of self-love that humans share with brute animals and predates the appearance of society. Acts committed out of amour de soi tend to be for individual well-being. They are naturally good and not malicious because amour de soi as self-love does not involve pursuing one's self-interest at the expense of others. The sentiment does not compare oneself with others, but is concerned solely with regarding oneself as an absolute and valuable existence. It is related to an awareness of one's future and can restrain present impulse. Rousseau contrasts it with amour-propre, that kind of self-love, found in Thomas Hobbes' philosophy, in which one's opinion of oneself is dependent on what other people think and which arises only with society.

Rousseau suggested that amour de soi was lost during the transition from the pre-societal condition to society, but it can be restored by the use of "good" institutions created with the social contract. This renewed passage from the state of nature to the civilized state, would bring man to favor justice instead of instinct.

Ancient Greek eros

Ancient Greeks used the word eros (Greek: ἔρως) to refer to different aspects of love. This diverse range of meanings is expressed by the plurality of Greek words for Love, reflecting the versatility and complexity of eros. The term was used to describe not only the affectionate marital relationship between a man and a woman but also the institution of pedagogic pederastic relations (Eros paidikos, παιδικός ἔρως), solemnized in certain Greek poleis. Such was the importance of eros for the ancient Greeks that the god of love, also named Eros, was held in Hesiod's cosmogony to be the primordial deity, the first god, older than all the others.

Ancient Greek philosophers were also interested in the conception of eros, which became a central issue in their analyses. In particular, Plato devoted two of his dialogues, Phaedrus and Symposium, to the philosophical dimensions of love, and in particular pederastic love. In Phaedrus, the best eros of a man for a boy is said to be a form of divine madness that is a gift from the gods, and that its proper expression is rewarded by the gods in the afterlife; the Symposium details the method by which love takes one to the form of beauty and wisdom. The term Platonic love derived from the philosopher's influential writings, and describes the passionate but chaste love of a man for a youth.

Cinephilia

Cinephilia (; also cinemaphilia or filmophilia) is the term used to refer to a passionate interest in films, film theory, and film criticism. The term is a portmanteau of the words cinema and philia, one of the four ancient Greek words for love. A person with a passionate interest in cinema is called a cinephile (), cinemaphile, filmophile, or, informally, a film buff (also movie buff).

In English, "cinephile" is sometimes used interchangeably with the word cineaste (), though in the original French the term cinéaste ([sineast]) refers to a cinephile who is also a filmmaker.

Color wheel theory of love

The color wheel theory of love is an idea created by Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee that describes six styles of love, using several of the Latin and Greek words for love. First introduced in his book Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973), Lee defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The three primary types are eros, ludus and storge, and the three secondary types are mania, pragma and agape.

Eros

In Greek mythology, Eros (UK: , US: ; Ancient Greek: Ἔρως, "Desire") is the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid ("desire"). Normally, he is described as one of the children of Aphrodite and Ares and, with some of his siblings, was one of the Erotes, a group of winged love gods. In some traditions, he is described as one of the primordial gods.

Eros (concept)

Eros ( or ; Ancient Greek: ἔρως érōs "love" or "desire") is one of the four ancient Greco-Christian terms which can be rendered into English as "love". The other three are storge, philia, and agape. Eros refers to "passionate love" or romantic love; storge to familial love; philia to friendship as a kind of love; and agape refers to "selfless love", or "charity" as it is translated in the Christian scriptures (from the Latin caritas, dearness).The term erotic is derived from eros. Eros has also been used in philosophy and psychology in a much wider sense, almost as an equivalent to "life energy".

Falling in love

Falling in love is the development of strong feelings of attachment and love, usually towards another person.

The term is metaphorical, emphasising that the process, like the physical act of falling, is sudden, uncontrollable and leaves the lover in a vulnerable state, similar to "fall ill" or "fall into a trap".

It may also reflect the importance of the lower brain centers in the process, which can lead the rational, accounting brain to conclude (in John Cleese's words) that "this falling in love routine is very bizarre....It borders on the occult".

Kama

Kama (Sanskrit, Pali; Devanagari: काम) means "desire, wish, longing" in Hindu and Buddhist literature. Kama often connotes sexual desire and longing in contemporary literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, desire for, longing to and after, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, enjoyment of love is particularly with or without enjoyment of sexual, sensual and erotic desire, and may be without sexual connotations.Kama is one of the four goals of human life in Hindu traditions. It is considered an essential and healthy goal of human life when pursued without sacrificing the other three goals: Dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), Artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life) and Moksha (liberation, release, self-actualization). Together, these four aims of life are called Puruṣārtha.

Love

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of meanings is that the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.Love is also considered to be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection, as "the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another". It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals.Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts. Love has been postulated to be a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Asian cultures have also distinguished Ren, Kama, Bhakti, Mettā, Ishq, Chesed, and other variants or symbioses of these states. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Lovestruck

Being lovestruck means having mental and physical symptoms associated with falling in love: 'Love-struck...means to be hit by love...you are hit in your heart by the emotion of love'.While historically being lovestruck has been viewed as a short-lived mental illness brought on by the intense changes associated with romantic love, this view has been out of favor since the humoral model was abandoned, and since the advent of modern scientific psychiatry.

Obsessive love

Obsessive love is a condition in which one person feels an overwhelming obsessive desire to possess and protect another person toward whom one feels a strong attraction, with an inability to accept failure or rejection. Symptoms, if such a term is applicable, include an inability to tolerate any time spent without that person, obsessive fantasies surrounding the person, and spending inordinate amounts of time seeking out, making, or looking at images of that person. Although it is not categorized specifically under any specific mental diagnosis by the DSM-5, some people argue that obsessive love is considered to be a mental illness similar to attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, and erotomania. Depending on the intensity of their attraction, obsessive lovers may feel entirely unable to restrain themselves from extreme behaviors such as acts of violence toward themselves or others. Obsessive love can have its roots in childhood trauma and may begin at first sight; it may persist indefinitely, sometimes requiring psychotherapy.

Philia

Philia (; Ancient Greek: φιλία), often translated "brotherly love", is one of the four ancient Greek words for love: philia, storge, agape and eros. In Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, philia is usually translated as "friendship" or affection. The complete opposite is called a phobia.

Philia (disambiguation)

Philia is one of the four ancient Greek words for love.

Philia may also refer to:

Philia (Greco-Roman magic), in Greco-Roman religion

"Philia" (song), a song by Versailles

Philia culture, which existed on Cyprus in the middle and late Bronze Age

-philia, a suffix

280 Philia, an asteroid

Philia, a character in the Sword Art Online videogame series

Philia, a character in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Philia, a character in the movie All About Lily Chou-Chou

Puppy love

Puppy love (also known as a crush, calf love or kitten love) is an informal term for feelings of romantic or platonic love, often felt during childhood and adolescence. It is named for its resemblance to the adoring, worshipful affection that may be felt by a puppy.

The term can be used in a derogatory fashion, presuming the affair to be shallow and transient in comparison to other forms of love. Sigmund Freud, however, was far from underestimating the power of early love, recognizing the validity of "the proverbial durability of first loves".

Religious views on love

Religious views on love vary widely between different religions.

Self-love

Self-love has often been seen as a moral flaw, akin to vanity and selfishness.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary later describes self-love as to "love of self" or "regard for one's own happiness or advantage". Synonyms of this concept are: amour propre, conceit, conceitedness, egotism, and many more. However, throughout the centuries this definition has adopted a more positive connotation through self-love protests, the Hippie era, the new age feminist movement as well as the increase in mental health awareness that promotes self-love.

Storge

Storge (, from the Ancient Greek word στοργή storgē) or familial love refers to natural or instinctual affection, such as the love of a parent towards offspring and vice versa.

In social psychology, another term for love between good friends is philia.

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