Birth PlaceClassical Athens
FatherAriston, Ariston of Athens
Most people would have heard the term, "platonic love", which simply put means 'non-sexual love'. It wasn't really a term coined by the Greek philosopher Plato. In fact, it was this thinker's masterpiece 'Symposium' that inspired Marsilio Ficino, an Italian scholar to come up with the jargon, "amor platonicus". 'Symposium' shows Plato's teacher Socrates describe the transcendence of a mere basal feeling such as desire for a beautiful body to the love of beauty in general.
Ficino, also a Catholic priest, took Socrates' definition of love a notch higher by relating it to devotion towards God. He equated this love with divine attachment, saying, "The passion of a lover is not quenched by the mere touch or sight of a body, for it does not desire this or that body, but desires the splendor of the divine light shining through bodies, and is amazed and awed by it."
Subsequently the locution "amor platonicus" became a fad and women proudly began donning the role of 'the beloved who incites spiritual desire'. The same expression was adopted into written English not before the 1630s, when Neoplatonism became the new trend. While some swore heavily by the phraseology, others endeavored to expose it as pretentious. William Davenant, for instance, wrote a play, 'Platonick Love' which approached the entire concept as if it was ostentatious. Well, hate it or like it, we just can't ignore ‘platonic love’, and it's all because of Plato.