Friends, Romans, Errors: Moments in the Reception of amicitia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


From Montaigne’s essay “On Friendship” to popular philosophy of the mid twentieth and early twenty-first centuries (C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves and Joseph Epstein’s Friendship: An Exposé) to scholarship of the past few decades, this chapter shows how such texts rely to varying degrees upon the binarisms true/false, correct/incorrect, right/wrong in their descriptions and evaluations of Roman friendship. This chapter asks not whether this or that modern text gets ancient Rome wrong, but rather how Rome, evaluated as right or wrong, functions as a vehicle for these texts’ meanings, and also what might be some of the implications for a topic so freighted with larger social, cultural, and political significance over the course of its centuries-long reception. Finally, although its readings of amicitia avoid applying evaluative labels, this chapter asks to what extent its readings of later readings of Roman friendship do (must?) nonetheless appeal to some concept of error.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoman Error
Subtitle of host publicationClassical Reception and the Problem of Rome's Flaws
EditorsBasil Dufallo
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780198803034
StatePublished - Jan 18 2018


  • friendship
  • amicitia
  • Montaigne
  • C.S. Lewis
  • The Four Loves
  • Joseph Epstein
  • homosociality
  • homoeroticism
  • lexical semantics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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