Greek words for love

November 20, 2020

The Greeks had three words for love. The first was eros. Eros was that little god that used to shoot arrows into the earth to make it fertile. Eros was the subject of the discussion in the house of Agathon that Plato records. Eros is not that which pushes us toward another, but rather it is an attraction. So that eros could embrace such things as love of a friend, a man or a woman, love of art, love of philosophy, love of the good life. Every true and lasting friendship is related to eros. G. K. Chesterton wrote to his future wife, Frances Blogg: 'There are four lamps of thanksgiving burning before me.    The first that I was born out of the same earth as you. Two, I have tried to love everything in the universe as a remote preparation for loving you. Three, I have never run after strange women. You cannot understand how much this prepares a man for true love. Four, my previous existence ends here. It has led me to you.' That is eros. I once asked a man what he would like to be ifhe could come back to earth two years after he died. He said his wife's second husband. That, too, is eros.