Love vs. Love
A VALENTINE'S DAY STORY
Celestial Love vs. Common Love that’s what this project is about.
To understand the difference between both of them we will walk through the Capitoline sculpture of Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, and will look through Plato’s eyes to understand love and its primary values.
Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty and love. Its Roman equivalent is Venus.
This statue is a variant of the Capitoline Venus. It derives from the Aphrodite of Cnidus created by Praxiteles in the fourth century BC.
The Capitoline Venus is defined by the position of her arms, Venus begins to cover her breasts with her right hand, and her groin with her left hand: Venus Pudica.
THE BIRTH OF APHRODITE
The myth has two variants. According to Hesiod, she was born from the severed genitals of Uranus and emerged from the sea foam (aphros in Greek), while Homer presents her as the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
Plato used the idea of the two genealogies to establish that there are two Aphrodites, the Urania or Celestial and the Common or Pandemos; and, therefore, there are two types of Eros (Love).
“If there were only one Love, then what you said would be well enough; but since there are more Loves than one, should have begun by determining which of them was to be the theme of our praises. I will amend this defect; and first of all I will tell you which Love is deserving of praise, and then try to hymn the praiseworthy one in a manner worthy of him. For we all know that Love is inseparable from Aphrodite, and if there were only one Aphrodite there would be only one Love; but as there are two goddesses there must be two Loves. And am I not right in asserting that there are two goddesses? The elder one, having no mother, who is called the heavenly Aphrodite, she is the daughter of Uranus; the younger, who is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, we call her common; and the Love who is her fellow-worker is rightly named common, as the other love is called heavenly.”
Plato, Symposium, 180c-180e.