The 8 Ancient Greek Words for Love

By 4 months ago

One of the best feelings in the world, without question, is LOVE.

The 8 Ancient Greek Words for Love

We use the word "love" in many different contexts- the love for our parents, best friend, romantic partner, grandparent, sibling, job, automobile, etc.

The Ancient Greeks had eight words that corresponded to different types of love:

Eros (romantic, passionate love)

The first kind of love is Eros, named after the Greek God of fertility.

Eros is passion, lust and pleasure.

The ancient Greeks considered Eros to be dangerous and frightening as it involves a “loss of control” through the primal impulse to procreate. Eros is an intense form of love that arouses romantic and sexual feelings.

Philia (affectionate love)

The second type of love is Philia or friendship.

Plato felt that physical attraction was not a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean “without physical attraction.”

Agape (selfless, universal love)

The third is Agape, selfless universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God.

This love is unconditional, bigger than ourselves, with boundless compassion and an infinite empathy that you extend to everyone, whether they are family members or distant strangers.

Storge (familiar love)

Storge is a natural form of affection experienced between family members.

This protective, kinship-based love is common between parents and their children and children for their parents.

Storge can also describe a sense of patriotism toward a country or allegiance to the same team.

Mania (obsessive love)

When love turns to obsession, it becomes a mania.

Stalking behaviours, co-dependency, extreme jealousy, and violence are all symptoms of Mania.

Ludus (playful love)

The Ancient Greeks thought of Ludus as a playful form of love.

It describes the situation of having a crush and acting on it, or the affection between young lovers.

Pragma (enduring love)

Pragma is a love built on commitment, understanding and long-term best interests.

It is a love that has aged, matured and about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, also showing patience and tolerance.

Philautia (self-love)

The Greeks understood that to care for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves.

As Aristotle said, “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”

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