An interpretation of love and how it is defined in greek mythology

Essay by hockeygoon96University, Bachelor'sA, May 2004

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"Love as a whole has very great power, indeed, he is omnipotent, ... he is the one that has the greatest power, provides us with every happiness, and enables us to associate with one another and to be friends with the gods..."(Plato 28). Throughout history, love has governed much of what has happened. There have been reasons to love and reasons not to love. Romance, religion, and social class have all influenced people's reasoning from ancient Greece to medieval Europe and even into present times.

At the time of Socrates and Plato, Love was a god, the most powerful god to them. Love was the god that allowed them to know other people, but also the one that allowed them to have a relationship with all of the gods. They worshiped many gods of love, all different types of love. They needed the gods to keep everything right in the world and they needed the most powerful gods to watch over them always.

Their need for some higher being to oversee everything gave them a reason to worship Love as much as they did. Antheros, Aphrodite, and Eros are just three of them. In The Art of Courtly Love, Capellanus tells that one cannot be in love and do God's work too. Ancient Greeks worshiped Love, but Europeans could not both be in love and make God happy. The church saw love as fornication and therefore it was a sin to be in love therefore God would be upset with lovers. "Besides this we know beyond a doubt that God Himself is the fountainhead and origin of chastity and of modesty, and from Scripture we know that the Devil is really the author of love and lechery"(Capellanus 194). They truly believed that God had nothing to do with...