The ambivalence of ancient friendship
in Friendship among nations
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This chapter highlights the common ways in which classical literature uses the concept of friendship in the context of relations with foreign powers. As a number of classical texts demonstrate, different perspectives on friendship could have been intertwined or separated when political circumstances and the creative powers of a particular author demanded. For this reason, in the discussion of the overlooked contractual concept of friendship, the chapter focuses on the links between this concept and the ethics of personal and public relations. Friendship understood as an ethical phenomenon was a central theme in ancient discussions of life in the political community. The most elaborate discussion of friendship in the classical period can be found in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. The chapter also demonstrates that the alternative understanding of political friendship and its conceptual means of expression can be identified in early medieval Greek and Latin literature.

Friendship among nations

History of a concept


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