PLATONIC LOVE, a term commonly applied to an affectionate relation between a man and a woman into which the sexual element does not enter. The term in English goes back as far as Sir William Davenant's Platonic Lovers (1636). It is derived from the conception, in Plato's Symposium, of the love of the idea of good which lies at the root of all virtue and truth. Amor platonicus was used, e.g. by Marsilio Ficino (isth century), as a synonym for amor socraticus, referring to the affection which subsisted between Socrates and his pupils.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)