Student Philosopher: Platonic Love & the Troubadours – Free Ebook

last time we were talking about platonic love the idea that the highest and purest form of love doesn’t involve sexual contact a fascinating and deeply unmodern idea what’s even more interesting is how the ideas changed throughout history after flourishing in ancient Greece the concept of platonic love was then powerfully revived through the tradition of courtly love and chivalry in Provence in the 11th century the courts of Provence gave rise to what’s now known as the age of the troubadours or the Knights he made a call of love these troubadour Knights would identify a woman and then fall madly and deeply in love with her however one thing they had no intention of doing was to sleep with her they merely wanted to be devoted to her the way one can when one isn’t yet having sex with someone it’s the face that we tend to rush over in modern life it’s the few days between a date that’s gone well and the first time in bed or the feeling you get when you regularly see someone at the office or in the library that you know you like the look of and yet you know it won’t go any further the troubadours influenced by Plato made a whole cult based on this moment they saw it as the best phase of love and I think I agree it’s when you’re fascinated by somebody’s face or gestures or you could write a whole poem just about their eyes the troubadours weren’t only military people they also were poets they would write reams of poetry in praise of their ladies a lot of the poetry is repetitive and formulaic but some of it is deeply tender and moving what’s interesting is that the troubadours took love very seriously only they didn’t see it linked to sex settling down or marriage romantic love was something you had with someone that you never saw your self doing household drawers with and that may be the secret of its intensity this kind of love was spared too much contact with daily life a troubadour poet could imagine how lovely his beloved was without ever having to dispute with them where to hang a tapestry or getting frustrated over bedtime for the kids their love could remain pristine the troubadours show us a time of history where loved was not tied to the notion of moving in together sharing utility bills and trying to go on a camping holiday with your partner’s friends maybe the troubadours influenced by Plato knew something with forgotten symposium written by the philosopher Plato in ancient Greece in 385 BC huge open-air theaters Aeschylus Euripides and Sophocles were all household names but what was tragedy all about what was the point

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