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Erôs in Ancient Greece$
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Ed Sanders, Chiara Thumiger, Christopher Carey, and Nick Lowe

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605507.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

Sex and the City: Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno of Kition on Erôs and Philia

Sex and the City: Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno of Kition on Erôs and Philia

(p.129) 9 Sex and the City: Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno of Kition on Erôs and Philia
Erôs in Ancient Greece

Eleni Leontsini

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Zeno’s argument in his Republic in relation to erôs, philia, and homonoia, and attempts to elucidate Zeno’s political position on the rôle of erôs in the unanimity of the polis, drawing on the previous positions of both Plato and Aristotle, setting Zeno’s account in a tradition of thinking which goes back at least as far as them. According to Zeno, the aim of sexual desire is friendship and not intercourse; thus, erôs, by generating friendship, plays an important role in the formation of the virtuous city. Before Zeno, both Plato and Aristotle argued for the importance of the unity of the city, each of course pursuing a different line of argument. Plato thinks that unanimity is important for the citizens so that they will be united in one voice, while Aristotle thinks that friendship is even more important than justice since it generates concord in the city.

Keywords:   erôs, sexual desire, friendship, unanimity, concord

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