Online Encyclopedia

PLATONIC LOVE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 825 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PLATONIC LOVE, a term commonly applied to an affectionate relation between a man and a woman into which the sexual element does not enter. The term in English goes back as far as Sir William Davenant's Platonic Lovers (1636). It is derived from the conception, in Plato's Symposium, of the love of the idea of good which lies at the root of all virtue and truth. Amer platonicus was used, e.g. by Marsilio Ficino (15th century), as a synonym for amor socraticus, referring to the affection which subsisted between Socrates and his pupils.
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