The Ancient Greek language has at least eight words to express an aspect of love:

ΑΓΑΠΗ or love for everyone

Agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse. It was also used to express the love of God for man and of man for God. It was used to express unconditional love.


ΕΡΩΣ or sexual passion

Éros  was named after the Greek god of fertility, and it represented the idea of sexual passion and desire. It was viewed as a dangerous, fiery, and irrational form of love that could take hold of you and possess you.


ΦΙΛΙΑ or deep friendship

The Greeks valued philia far more than the base sexuality of eros. Philia  is expressed as loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality, and familiarity. It was about showing loyalty to your friends, sacrificing for them, as well as sharing your emotions with them.


ΣΤΟΡΓΗ or affection

Another kind of philia, sometimes called storge, embodied the love between parents and their children. It is  almost exclusively used as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant.


ΛΟΥΔΟΥΣ or playful love

This was the Greeks’ idea of playful love, which referred to the affection between children or young lovers. We’ve all had a taste of it in the flirting and teasing in the early stages of a relationship. But we also live out our ludus when we sit laughing with friends, or when we go out dancing.


ΠΡΑΓΜΑ or longstanding love

Another Greek love was the mature love known as pragma. This was the deep understanding that developed between long-married couples. Pragma was about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing patience and tolerance. Pragma is precisely about standing in love—making an effort to give love rather than just receive it.


ΜΑΝΙΑ or manic love

This style of love usually flows out of a desire to hold one’s partner in high esteem and wanting to love and be loved in this way seeing specialness in the interaction. It is also about holding onto another at all costs.


ΦΙΛΑΥΤΙΑ or love of the self

This Greek variety of love was philautia or self-love. One was an unhealthy variety associated with narcissism, where you became self-obsessed and focused on personal fame and fortune. A healthier version was that if you like yourself and feel secure in yourself, you will have plenty of love to give others.

We have not identified what would be the appropriate word to express love for one’s guests but we certainly wish it upon you.

Sources: Wikipedia, How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life.

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