Love is Love

By AVGVSTA, in 'Ancient Greek', May 13, 2019.

  1. Greetings, all
    I am wondering which words to use to translate Love is Love, in the sense of the meaning it is bequeathed pro-LGBTQ movements, into ancient Greek. This may seem like a futile act as no one in a middle school may be expected to understand it, but that is kind of the point. Our dorm is doing a DIY door sign activity and I wanted to make a subtle personal statement in mine. With no other students and only two teachers in the school who knows Ancient Greek, this seemed like a good choice. However, being only like eleven chapters into from Alpha to Omega, I don't quite know how to render the phrase.

    Disclaimer, I don't want to make this political, my dorm door is not on a street front in Washington DC. This is just something quite personal to me.

    Much gratitude in advance
  2. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    As you may know, Greek somewhat famously has four words for love. Given my understanding of the expression in context (which is rather slight), I would immediately dismiss the word with chiefly carnal connotations (ἔρως), and that with familial connotations (στοργή), so that we're left with the words ἀγάπη (which has been highly Christianized) and the more general φιλία 'affection/fondness between equals'. And very probably what we're after is the last word.

    As to style, I'm probably not the best to ask (oh Iáson, come out 'n play), but I can say this: in equivalencies/'gnomic' expressions of this kind, the omission of the copula ('is') is typical. & I can't help feeling the word αὐτός belongs here somewhere. Maybe:

    φιλία αὑτὴ φιλία (Love is the very one/love is the same love)

    *Gadzooks, the TNR Greek font is just awful. Let every man go out and fix himself up with Porson!
    AVGVSTA likes this.
  3. Hemo Rusticus Tom Bombadillo

    • Civis Illustris
    Note the 'rough breathing' on the second word is a crasis of the article ἡ.
    AVGVSTA likes this.
  4. Thank you so much!!!
    May I inquire what is crasis?
    Last edited by AVGVSTA, May 16, 2019
  5. Dantius Homo Sapiens

    • Civis Illustris
    in orbe lacteo
    basically combining two words into one, similar to elision, but they're actually written as one word
    AVGVSTA likes this.
  6. Iáson Cívis Illústris

    • Civis Illustris
    Two things. First, I can see why you went for φιλία, but I worry that it's not necessarily the point of the quote. A reasonably primary meaning of the quote, at least as I understand it, is surely 'all romantic love, not just heterosexual love, counts as love'. But φιλία rarely means romantic love; it usually refers to friendship. Of course, either way 'love' is going to be difficult to translate because we have a somewhat different concept of it to the ancient Greeks.

    Secondly, I'm not sure φιλία αὑτὴ φιλία makes much sense. I guess not only is it unclear that one has to understand the copula, but 'love [is] the same love' sounds strange enough in English. Since the phrase means something like 'all love is love', if one is using φιλία it would be πᾶσα ἡ φιλία ἐστὶν φιλία, or πᾶσα ἡ φιλία ἐστὶν αὑτή, or πᾶσα ἡ φιλία ἐστὶν μία.
    Hemo Rusticus and AVGVSTA like this.

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