Friendship in the Classical World (Key Themes in Ancient by David Konstan

By David Konstan

This publication is a historical past of friendship in Greece and Rome, from the warrior society of the Homeric epics to the time of the Christian Roman Empire. It demonstrates how old friendship resembles smooth conceptions, and the way it evolves in several social contexts. The booklet sheds new mild on such questions as friendship and democracy, the significance of pals in govt and in philosophical groups, women's friendships, and the transformation of friendship less than the impression of Christian principles of brotherhood.

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Philos, 212), never xenoi. "To be a polis ... a community had to distinguish formally between members and nonmembers" (Manville 1990: 82). g. Od. 74). 160; cf. 162, 166). 26-9). 36), since his house is rich enough to entertain guests. Homer is indulging in a bit of comedy here: the audience will recall 19 20 For the contrast, cf. Pindar, Isth. 51; Theognidea 793-4; Carm. Epigr. 17; [Anacreon] Anth. Pal. V. 3; Scheid-Tissinier 1990 wrongly discerns this distinction already in the Odyssey. g. H .

G r e e t i n g scenes: Reece 1993; ritualized xenia: H e r m a n 1987; on formal friendship, cf. 110 on Thu May 20 13:44:51 BST 2010. " This language is too corporate. It is true that an ancient bond of hospitality can be invoked by descendants, who may then claim to be "ancestral" xeinoi. Friends might hope that succeeding generations would elect to renew the relationship, but nothing obliges them to do so: Diomedes5 offer to exchange armor represents the voluntary resumption of the xenia between their forebears.

Commonplaces persist for a thousand years despite vast social changes. New emphases emerge, and are the central subject of this book, but it is not necessarily the case that they conform synchronically to a reigning spirit of the times. Indeed, one theme that runs through the following chapters is the abiding image of friendship as an intimate relationship predicated on mutual affection and commitment. 25 The terms for "friend" in the above sense are philos in Greek and amicus in Latin, and the focus of this book is accordingly on their use in the classical world over the course of its history.

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