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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2022
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Book description

Platonic love is a concept that has profoundly shaped Western literature, philosophy and intellectual history for centuries. First developed in the Symposium and the Phaedrus, it was taken up by subsequent thinkers in antiquity, entered the theological debates of the Middle Ages, and played a key role in the reception of Neoplatonism and the etiquette of romantic relationships during the Italian Renaissance. In this wide-ranging reference work, a leading team of international specialists examines the Platonic distinction between higher and lower forms of eros, the role of the higher form in the ascent of the soul and the concept of Beauty. They also treat the possibilities for friendship and interpersonal love in a Platonic framework, as well as the relationship between love, rhetoric and wisdom. Subsequent developments are explored in Plutarch, Plotinus, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, Eriugena, Aquinas, Ficino, della Mirandola, Castiglione and the contra amorem tradition.

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