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Fig 3.3 – Origin of Greek Love

Text: Page 88

In the Symposium, Plato described the origin of heterosexual and homosexual love: Zeus created and split human beings at the beginning of the world. Some humans were originally half male and half female. When Zeus made them whole again, men and women sought heterosexual relationships. Other humans were created all male or all female and, to feel whole again, sought same-sex homosexual relationships. Plato struggled with the role of sexuality because of his skepticism about the physical world, believing in the purity of the non-physical, immortal soul. During the Axial Age in Greece, homosexual love was seen as one of the highest forms of love; homoerotic love between soldiers was essential for success on the battlefield.

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