Cicero on friendship. Treatises on Friendship and Old Age by Marcus Tullius Cicero 2022-10-05
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Cicero, a Roman philosopher, lawyer, and statesman, was a strong believer in the value of friendship. In his treatise "On Friendship," Cicero wrote that "nothing is more helpful to a person than a friend." He believed that friendship was a necessity for living a happy and fulfilling life, and that it was one of the most important virtues a person could possess.
According to Cicero, there are three types of friendships: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure, and friendships of virtue. Friendships of utility are based on mutual benefit, where two people are friends because they can help each other in some way. Friendships of pleasure are based on shared enjoyment, where two people are friends because they enjoy each other's company and share similar interests. Friendships of virtue, however, are the most valuable and enduring type of friendship. These friendships are based on mutual respect, trust, and honesty, and are characterized by a deep and genuine affection for one another.
Cicero argued that friendships of virtue are the most important because they are not based on selfish motives, but rather on a genuine concern for the well-being of the other person. He believed that these friendships are the foundation of a good and happy life, and that they are essential for living a virtuous and moral life. Cicero also believed that true friendships require effort and sacrifice, and that a true friend is someone who is always ready to help and support their friend, even in difficult times.
In addition to the value of friendship, Cicero also recognized the importance of forgiveness in friendships. He argued that friendships are built on mutual trust and understanding, and that it is essential for friends to be able to forgive each other when they make mistakes. Cicero believed that forgiveness is a crucial aspect of maintaining strong and healthy friendships, and that it is important to be able to move past conflicts and misunderstandings in order to preserve the bond of friendship.
Overall, Cicero's views on friendship highlight the importance of genuine affection and concern for others in building strong and lasting relationships. He believed that friendship is a necessary part of living a happy and fulfilling life, and that it is an essential virtue that should be cultivated and nurtured.
Cicero Quotes about Friendship
Telling a utility friend the deepest secrets of your soul is going to make both of you uncomfortable. Some people deal with friendship one way while others deal with it in another way. Augustine to the Italian poet Dante and beyond, and was one of the earliest books translated into and printed in English. Some passages of this treatise were evidently suggested by Plato; and Aulus Gellius says that Cicero made no little use of a now lost essay of Theophrastus on Friendship. Left on our own, we will stagnate and become unable to see ourselves as we are.
M. Tullius Cicero, Laelius on friendship, section 1
Now the people who have no scruples as to the requests they make to their friends, thereby allow that they are ready to have no scruples as to what they will do for their friends; and it is the recriminations of such people which commonly not only quench friendships, but give rise to lasting enmities. In the case of such men as these there is no point in saying that one of them would not have obtained such a request if he had made it; for they were men of the most scrupulous piety, and the making of such a request would involve a breach of religious obligation no less than the granting it. Well, then, it has very often occurred to me when thinking about friendship, that the chief point to be considered was this: is it weakness and want of means that make friendship desired? He used to illustrate these facts from the analogy of boyhood, since the warmest affections between boys are often laid aside with the boyish toga; and even if they did manage to keep them up to adolescence, they were sometimes broken by a rivalry in courtship, or for some other advantage to which their mutual claims were not compatible. I must quote some examples of such persons, taking care to select such as approach nearest to our standard of wisdom. For instance: suppose Coriolanus to have had friends, ought they to have joined him in invading his country? It takes a long time and a lot of work to build a solid friendship but, according to Cicero, once you have it is the greatest treasure of all. He was remarkable for early rising, constant industry, and undeviating punctuality, — at the meetings of the Senate being always the first on the ground. He was known in the State, at first as leaning, though moderately and guardedly, to the popular side, but after the disturbances created by the Gracchi, as a strong conservative.
Treatises on Friendship and Old Age by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Odysseus, his passage by the Sirens, and by Scylla and Charybdis. And this was at an incident in fiction: what would they have done, must we suppose, if it had been in real life? The sacrilege committed by his men in the isle Thrinacia. One might say Schopenhaur focuses more on the negative aspects of people. And I care quite as much what the state of the constitution will be after my death as what it is now. Published and reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press.
Let this, then, be laid down as the first law of friendship, that we should ask from friends, and do for friends, only what is good. Cicero dwelled on the fact that friendship must have common factors. O krajnostima dobra i zla P. Scipio replies by telling his dream. There is no way that Cicero would be happy with the encouragement to build false relationship only on the grounds that someone works in the same place as someone else. In a word, other objects of ambition serve for particular ends—riches for use, power for securing homage, office for reputation, pleasure for enjoyment, health for freedom from pain and the full use of the functions of the body. One thing leads to another; and once set going, the downward course proceeds with ever-increasing velocity.
He refers to these six books on the Republic as so many hostages The work is in the form of Dialogues, in which, with several interlocutors beside, the younger Africanus and Laelius are the chief speakers; and it is characterized by the same traits of dramatic genius to which I have referred in connection with the De Amicitia. While they were united in grave pursuits and weighty interests, we have the most charming pictures of their rural and seaside life together, even of their gathering shells on the shore, and of fireside frolics in which they forgot the cares of the republic, ceased to be stately old Romans, and played like children in vacation-time. Let us, I repeat, use the word virtue in the ordinary acceptation and meaning of the term, and do not let us define it in high-flown language. The Latin word for friendship—amicitia—is derived from that for love—amor; and love is certainly the prime mover in contracting mutual affection. In friendship, let the influence of friends who give good advice be paramount; and let this influence be used to enforce advice not only in plain-spoken terms, but sometimes, if the case demands it, with sharpness; and when so used, let it be obeyed. These differences are results of the fact that they view amicitia from a different philosophical position and from a different perspective. The first type is when it is based on utility.
Friendship and its problems in Greek and Roman thought. Cicero had multiple characteristics on friendship; however in this paper only three of his characteristics of friendship will be discussed. It is better to have three great friends than a thousand false ones. According to Aristotle the first two friendships are accidental, because in these case friends are only thinking about their own utility and pleasure, not are going to change over a period of time. Virtue is essential for friendship and friendship helps in maintaining virtue. People without friends are prone to bitterness, narcissism, and anger at a world they feel no real connection to.
Cicero would be ecstatic to see that the virtue and value of friendship has grown since his time. Friendship is seen as essentially inspired by love and where there is love there is happiness. In my case it was an admiration of his virtue, in his an opinion, maybe, which he entertained of my character, that caused our affection. The heartfelt advice it gives is honest and moving in a way few works of ancient times are. He was noted for his wise economy of time. The fact that one person uses another person for their own will is not the kind of relationship that Cicero was wanting people to build. For if any marked instance of loyal friendship in confronting or sharing danger comes to light, every one applauds it to the echo.
Webster further states that friendship can also be describe as affection arising from mutual esteem, good will, friendliness, and amity. But Christianity has done even more than this for friendship. Abstract This paper analyses the views of Cicero and Seneca on the nature and origins of friendship. According to Seneca, the basis of true amicitia is a shared will to achieve and maintain virtue cum animos in societatem honesta cupiendi par voluntas trahit, 6. There are people who give the palm to riches or to good health, or to power and office, many even to sensual pleasures. Take two instances of either line of conduct. Jeremy Taylor, however, speaks of this feature of Christianity as among the manifest tokens of its divine origin; and Soame Jenyns takes the same ground in a treatise expressly designed to meet the objections and cavils of Shaftesbury and other deistical writers of his time.
There are no instances in which the various readings involve any considerable diversity of meaning. Tiberius Gracchus made an attempt to obtain the power of a king, or, I might rather say, enjoyed that power for a few months. And in point of fact he was as good and better than his word; for he did not wait for orders in the audacious proceedings of Tiberius Gracchus, but was the head and front of them, and was a leader rather than an abettor of his madness. For things have come to such a point with us, my dear Fannius and Scævola, that we are bound to look somewhat far ahead to what is likely to happen to the republic. Nay, if we wish to avoid anxiety we must avoid virtue itself, which necessarily involves some anxious thoughts in showing its loathing and abhorrence for the qualities which are opposite to itself—as kindness for ill nature, self-control for licentiousness, courage for cowardice.
How to Be a Good Friend, According to an Ancient Philosopher
But he makes a key distinction between these common and quite useful friendships and those rare friends we bind ourselves to on a much deeper level. Book XII, The Odyssey. Is not prosperity robbed of half its value if you have no one to share your joy? Virtue and value are the greatest aspect that friendship has today and did have back then. It seems probable, however, that it was a history either of the third of the Punic wars, or of all of them; for Plutarch quotes from him — probably from his History — the statement that he, Fannius, and Tiberius Gracchus were the first to mount the walls of Carthage when the city was taken. And like ne wine, the best of friendships will improve with age. Even if the friendship was prolonged beyond that time, yet it frequently received a rude shock should the two happen to be competitors for office.