Diotima of Mantinea

Diotima of Mantinea

*ca. 440 BCE (Mantinea )
†ca. 440 BCE

Diotima was a Greek priestess and philosopher of antiquity. In current scientific discourse, her historical existence is discussed controversially. Information about her can be found in Plato’s dialogue “Symposium”. According to this, she had performed sacrificial acts in Athens to fight the plague.
In a conversation about the meaning of love, she teaches Socrates about the true Eros. In Diotima’s concept of love, Eros is a symbol of human striving for perfection and represents the desire for the emergence of the beautiful. Accordingly, she defines the concept of love as the birth of the beautiful, in spiritual and physical terms.

 

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