Reading Roman Friendship
This book invites us to approach friendship not as something that simply is, but as something performed in and through language. Roman friendship is read across a wide spectrum of Latin texts, from Catullus' poetry to Petronius' Satyricon to the philosophical writings of Cicero and Seneca, from letters exchanged by the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and his beloved teacher Fronto, to those written by men and women at an outpost in northern Britain. One of the most innovative features of this study is the equal attention it pays to Latin literature and to inscriptions carved in stone across the Roman Empire. What emerges is a richly varied and perhaps surprising picture. Hundreds of epitaphs, commissioned by men and women, citizens and slaves, record the commemoration of friends, which is of equal importance to understanding Roman friendship as Cicero's influential essay De amicitia.
- Electronic book text
- 01 Nov 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 14 b/w illus.
Table of contents
Introduction: reading Roman friendship; 1. Men and women; 2. Love and friendship I: questions and themes; 3. Love and friendship II: authors and texts; 4. Friendship and death: the culture of commemoration.
'Williams demonstrates convincingly that the epigraphical and literary texts construct substantially different pictures of how friendship was negotiated and conceived in ancient Rome, not least in respect to gender and class relations. It is not too much to say that Williams' careful attention to inscriptions, along with his sensitive interpretations of literary and philosophical texts, will transform in fundamental ways the prevailing conception of Roman amicitia ... It is scholarship at its best, and anyone interested in ancient Roman friendship will want to read it.' Sehepunkte 'Williams is an exceedingly capable scholar, and he has produced a cogent study of Roman friendship that will enrich and challenge the way that we read, and have read, the past. One that will in turn, no doubt, also make us question our present.' Arctos
About Craig A. Williams
Craig A. Williams is Professor of Classics at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and in 2006 he was awarded Brooklyn College's Leonard and Claire Tow Endowed Professorship. He is the author of the acclaimed Roman Homosexuality, 2nd edition (2010), an introduction and commentary in Martial: Epigrams, Book Two (2004) and numerous articles and reviews on Latin literature and Roman culture.