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This chapter draws on Cicero’s letters to propose the existence of an “economy of goodwill” in the late Roman Republic. Through voluntas mutua, the mature statesman handles sensitive transactions and vouchsafes his allies’ support. I examine potential antecedents to Cicero’s goodwill in Aristotle’s theories of friendship (eunoia and philia), as well as in the system of “friendly loans” (mutuom argentum) in the comedies of Plautus. Cicero’s economics of friendship, though informed by these others, aim at problems particular to Rome’s fast-growing empire. Unlike normal currency, “spending” voluntas only increases one’s supply of it, allowing for mutual reinforcement of political support over time. Additionally, voluntas may be exchanged regardless of facultas, facilitating long-distance governance by low-cost trades of support across the empire when concrete beneficia are unfeasible. In his philosophical works, finally, Cicero shows an intriguing ambivalence about the economy of goodwill that served him so well in practice. Are reciprocal favors a defensible part of friendship? Though he excludes the possibility in De amicitia, in De officiis, voluntas mutua is redeemed in decorum, the ideal by which proportion and mutuality yield virtue.
The kingdoms of Kandy (now Sri Lanka) and Ayutthaya (now Thailand) were briefly connected across Indian Ocean waters in the mid-eighteenth century by Dutch East India Company (hereafter VOC) traders, leading to the importation of valuable Siamese Buddhist monks and their ordination lineage to the island. Two series of events related to the VOC's search for and delivery of these monks demonstrate that the patronage of connected religious dynamics—not just the contingencies of trade, land, labour, and statecraft—was an essential aspect of Company business. At the same time, mediating Buddhist connection was a dangerous, sometimes perilous undertaking. Analysing VOC records alongside Laṅkān and Siamese historical chronicles and travelogues reveals that what were initially friendly connections at first necessitated, and later intensified certain forms of danger. We begin with perilous shipwrecks and diplomatic impasses across monsoon waters that eventually led to the restoration of an important but defunct Kandyan Buddhist ordination lineage, and conclude with the aftermath of a failed assassination attempt in 1760 against the royal patron of that lineage transmission. I advance the notion of “dangerous friendships” to characterise how Buddhist courts and European traders worked together to first generate, and then exploit, friendly religious connections.
This chapter focuses on the interactions of the Roman aristocracy – the members of the senatorial and equestrian orders – with the court, taking as its theme the interplay between routine and disruption. The scale of these interactions fluctuated over time, as did the methods by which emperors signalled their favour for particular aristocrats, thereby creating an (unstable) hierarchy of aristocrats at court. The amici principis (‘friends of the emperor’) formed their own subgroup, with an internal hierarchy; the emperor’s relationship with them was shaped by cultural expectations about amicitia. Some aristocrats were important advisers to the emperor, so the chapter examines advisers and the role of advisory councils (consilia). The chapter reflects on whether the relationship between the emperor and aristocratic courtiers should be characterized as one of ‘domestication’, arguing for an often-volatile situation in which attempts by emperors to control aristocrats (and vice versa) were ad hoc and short-lived.
Humans and alcohol share a deep evolutionary history: our capacity to convert alcohol into useable sugars is a trait we share with the African great apes (gorillas and chimpanzees) and is unique to this taxonomic family among the primates. Although the archaeological record only allows us to date the production of alcohol back about 9,000 years (by which time it is already on an industrial scale), a cottage industry of alcohol production must date back a great deal further. With the exception of where its consumption has been prohibited on religious grounds, alcohol use occurs in every culture and society. Notwithstanding its hedonic properties, its real functional benefit is primarily social, playing an important role in rituals and group bonding. I review studies that demonstrate its functional consequences in terms of social bonding, mediated by alcohol’s ability to trigger the brain’s endorphin system. The endorphin system is the central basis for social bonding in primates. The health and other benefits that arise from social bonding are considerable.
This article posits that friendship has been a particularly fertile and creative category against the backdrop of imperial expansion and consolidation in the Himalayas. As a small but strategically perceived sovereign Himalayan country, Bhutan's history through the last centuries has been marked simultaneously by imperial and post-colonial asymmetries of power. The term “friendship” is deployed as a key diplomatic category in Bhutan's most significant relationship, that with its much larger neighbour India. However, the origin of this friendship is always traced back to the mid-twentieth-century post-colonial period. In contradistinction to this, I constellate a much longer history of this friendship with a special focus on the landmark 1910 Treaty of Punakha between Bhutan and Britain, which was a key turning point in Bhutan's relations with its southern neighbour (British India at the time). Scholars typically state as a matter of fact that in the year 1910, with the initiative of Political Officer Charles Bell, a treaty was signed between Britain and Bhutan that placed Bhutan's external relations under the guidance of Britain. This present work is situated within the oeuvre of critically rereading imperial sources and evaluating their historical legacies, and is the first detailed scholarly analysis of why this treaty was significant and how it came to be signed. I identify the factors that were at work in how and why the 1910 friendship treaty was realised for imperial British purposes—the interpersonal friendships fostered by the British Political Officers; the threat of China as an Other; and the representation of material and ideational advantages from associating with an imperial power. In making this argument, I analyse the role played by the vocabulary of friendship and draw upon primary archival sources to illustrate the factors that were at work as well as the dissonance between the archival and public rationales provided by Political Officer Bell. The 1910 treaty was signed at a watershed moment after the then-recent installation of a monarchy in Bhutan in 1907, and against the great game backdrop of Qing activities in Tibet and British interests in the region; throughout the twentieth century, the impact of this friendship treaty was of paramount significance, and its shadow continues into the twenty-first century.
Elite friendship discourse in the Renaissance was shaped by a set of commonplaces inherited from classical antiquity according to which friends were virtuous, male, and few in number, and their relationships egalitarian and non-sexual. Neoplatonic love had the power to disrupt many of these received ideas. Ficino’s account of male friendship in his Lysis commentary emphasized the importance of spiritual desire in initiating relationships and foregrounded a pedagogical dimension more in keeping with a chaste version of Greek pederasty than the non-hierarchical models of friendship inherited from Aristotle and Cicero. In a poem on the Platonic androgyne, Antoine Héroët used the language of friendship to describe heterosexual unions as offering a potential step towards union with God. Bonaventure des Périers warned instead of the dangers of earthly erotic entanglements in a verse commentary to his translation of Plato’s Lysis, thereby concurring with the beliefs of his benefactor Marguerite de Navarre while suggesting that female community might offer the soul some solace before death provided the possibility of joining with God. Finally, Montaigne’s unorthodox account of his relationship with his deceased friend La Boétie engaged with the Neoplatonic tradition while eschewing the possibility it might facilitate spiritual ascent.
Chapter 5 looks at the social dynamics of inter-confessional relations after 1689. Taking up the recent work of historians of sociability, it questions whether the emphasis on neighbourliness common to many studies of inter-confessional relations is the most productive approach. Instead, it examines the different ways in which Dissenters described their 'neighbours', 'friends', and 'company' in relation to one another, using this as a means to understand the extent to which all types of Protestant Dissenters excluded themselves from society. It demonstrates that looking at other ways of describing sociability in addition to the language of neighbourliness provides a much broader view of the different levels and boundaries of inter-confessional social interaction. In particular, it emphasises that the way contemporaries mentally framed different types of social relationship may have helped them to navigate contradictory impulses to foster both group identity and integration with others after 1689.
Throughout his political works, Plato takes the aim of politics to be the virtue and happiness of the citizens and the unity of the city. This paper examines the roles played by law in promoting individual virtue and civic unity in the Republic, Statesman, and Laws. Section 1 argues that in the Republic, laws regulate important institutions, such as education, property, and family, and thereby creating a way of life that conduces to virtue and unity. Section 2 argues that in the Statesman, the political expert determines the mean between extremes and communicates it to citizens through laws that guide their judgment and conduct, so that they become virtuous themselves and the city is unified; this account of the role of law suggest how even non-expert legislation can contribute to virtue and unity. Section 3 argues that the Laws affirms and develops the idea that citizens should know and accept the laws to become virtuous themselves and to unify the city, and explains how the persuasive preludes and the sanction for violation attached to laws contribute to citizen virtue and civic unity.
One of the great joys and benefits of ageing is the possibility of being in very long-term friendships – such friendships, by their very nature, are not available to the young. These friendships ground strong reciprocal special obligations. Such long-term friends have very strong obligations to care for each other as they age and as they become vulnerable as a result of declining mental and/or physical strength. These long-standing intimate relationships, insofar as they ground strong special obligations, are precisely what a friend ought to be thinking about as she is moved to care for her friend. Thus, in thinking about a duty, one is thereby thinking about the valuable relationship that has bound one to one’s friend over an important and extended portion of one’s life. Acting from a special obligation to a long-term friend is to act in precisely the right sort of caring way.
Responsive and respectful relationships are principal elements of early childhood curricula in many countries. Children seek to interact with peers, be included as part of a group, and make friends. Successful relationships in the early years lead to better communication skills, increased general knowledge, and feelings of wellbeing, all necessary for successful life and work outcomes. Making friends is often viewed as a ‘natural’ state of childhood, and consequently, assumes an individual’s social skills are the sole reason for a child’s ability to make friends or not. This chapter takes an interactional view to show that friendships are linked to ongoing and inter-dependent actions of the peer group. Seven examples of peer interactions highlight the ways in which children actively seek to participate and build friendships. It is these ‘implications for practice’ that demonstrate how early childhood educators might support children’s play and participation so as to develop responsive and respectful relationships. The chapter argues that when an interactional process approach, based on conversation analysis is adopted, educators can identify the criticality of the social context, and best support children’s opportunities to be included and make friends.
An important factor in progressive Victorian women’s interest in Germany is the decades-long friendship of Anna Jameson and Ottilie von Goethe, in itself a sustained form of cultural exchange and a bond that opened cultural exchange to others in Germany and England. First exploring the backgrounds of Jameson’s and Goethe’s openness to other cultures and foreigners (Jameson’s Anglo-Irish heritage, the German and English reading circles of Goethe and her mother), the chapter turns to Goethe’s friendship circle and the erotic same-sex relationship of Adele Schopenhauer, who had fallen in love with Goethe as a young woman, and Sibylle Mertens-Schaaffhausen. These two were attracted to Jameson, who responded warmly to Mertens-Schaaffhausen. Jameson herself fell in love with Goethe on meeting her, though Goethe’s heteronormativity precluded reciprocal feelings, and desire modulated into deep, steadfast friendship from 1833 until Jameson’s death. The chapter then traces the phases and significance of this friendship, including Jameson’s willingness for almost two years to risk her career and income to accompany Goethe to Vienna when the widowed Goethe became pregnant out of wedlock and gave birth to a daughter she named after Jameson.
Britten’s two early operas, Peter Grimes and The Rape of Lucretia, were collaborations with two very different librettists. Both were poets, but the first, Montagu Slater, was also a communist, a practised journalist, novelist, editor, and critic, a decade older than Britten, and he brought considerable scenario, playwriting, and theatrical experience to the project; the second, Ronald Duncan, also a playwright, was an anti-democratic pacifist, convinced of the power of poetic expression and of his value as a poet; he was more willing than Slater to adapt to Britten’s demands, but still had very decided ideas of his own. Britten abandoned Slater after Peter Grimes, despite its success, and The Rape of Lucretia proved the only opera he would write with Duncan. This essay provides a detailed biographical and critical outline of each writer’s work up to their collaboration with Britten, showing how their approaches to writing a libretto differed, what they contributed, and why Britten moved on to other writers for his subsequent operatic work.
Catullus’ collection contains several clear echoes of the work of two contemporary Epicurean poets, Lucretius and Philodemus. Indeed, several of the neoteric poet’s central themes (the attractions of otium and disengagement from public life; patronage by members of the high elite and its pitfalls; dissatisfaction with the mos maiorum) bring him potentially into close alignment with Epicurean ideals. In this chapter, however, I argue that, on closer consideration, Catullus’ intertextual engagement with his two contemporaries points rather to a self-consciously antagonistic stance towards Epicurean ethics. Catullus’ attack on ‘Socration’ in Poem 47, combined with parodic echoes of Philodemus’ epigrams in Poems 13 and 43, bears comparison with Cicero’s deployment of anti-Epicurean clichés in the In Pisonem; similarly, Philodemean and Lucretian echoes underline a striking divergence both from Epicurean ideals of friendship and from the rejection of romantic love explicit in Lucretius and arguably implicit in Philodemus’ Xanthippe cycle.
This chapter claims that Atticus offers a fruitful case study of Epicureanism in the late Republic and can thereby contribute to broader questions of philosophical allegiance in the ancient world. There has, of course, been valuable discussion of philosophical allegiance in recent years. A reconsideration of Atticus’ Epicureanism will fruitfully extend these debates precisely because he is a not a perfect fit for any of these categories. He was not a professional philosopher; in any case, it is dangerous to assume that the thunderings of Lucretius or Philodemus on the Epicurean wise man map reliably onto the complexities of life, especially in the case of Atticus.
Disdain for Cicero is widespread among contemporary philosophers. This chapter shows this attitude is mistaken. It focuses on three topics where Cicero speaks to contemporary philosophical problems with special urgency and relevance: cosmopolitanism, aging, and friendship. Cicero’s analysis of the duties of justice and the duties of material aid in his De officiis became the foundation for much of modern international law. But his analysis suffers from a bifurcation: it makes the former fully global (national boundaries are irrelevant) and the latter very elastic. The topic of aging has been entirely neglected by philosophers. Cicero’s dialogue De senectute offers a defense of old age against stigma and prejudices: some arguments are unconvincing, but many are excellent and have much to teach us. In his De amicitia, Cicero offers a convincing critique of common self-insulating pictures of friendship and an exploration of friendship as an element of political life, of which Cicero’s long-lived friendship with Atticus is a perfect example.
Aristotle represents many of his predecessors as having arrived at their views about psuchē from reflection on the fact that knowledge is of beings; it is this fact, together with the principle that knowledge is “like by like,” which led them to the view that psuchē is an amalgam of the elements of all beings. But though Aristotle thinks little of this view, he accepts the considerations (duly qualified) from which it is derived. Now, the principle that knowledge is “like by like” is an explanatory principle; it locates the “cause” of knowledge in an antecedent likeness between its subjects and objects. Moreover, analogous principles have been offered to explain analogous facts, and they too are principles which (duly qualified) Aristotle accepts. But though we might expect the qualifications to vary from case to case, still we might wonder whether there isn’t some point they all enforce. In this chapter I argue there is such a point: that the explanatory “likeness” between the parties in question is never just any likeness, such as obtains “as it happened” or by chance, but is always an antecedent likeness in some form common and natural to all parties involved.
Is there something bad about being friends with seriously bad people? Intuitively, it seems so, but it is hard to see why this should be. This is especially the case since some other kinds of loving relationship with bad people look morally acceptable or even good. In this paper, I argue that friendship inherently involves taking one’s friends seriously, which involves openness to their beliefs, concerns, and subjective interests. Deeply immoral views and attitudes ought not to be taken seriously or considered as options, and I argue that this explains why being friends with bad people is itself morally problematic. I go on to contrast this with Jessica Isserow’s (2018) explanation of what’s bad about friendship with bad people, and I suggest that my account is better placed to explain why friendships with bad people are morally problematic but some other loving relationships with bad people are not.
Festinger, Schachter, and Back’s Social Pressures in Informal Groups (henceforward FSB’s SPIG) was one of the most exciting and theoretically generative works in what we now think of as the field of social networks, emerging from one of the focal arenas of Gestalt-psychology-inspired research. It established the importance of functional distance for relationship formation, and demonstrated that there were effects of variations on the scale of feet, not miles. It also used a clever research design to attempt to see if information spread along social networks. The clarity of FSB’s structuralist vision was to some degree clouded by the then-common reification of groups, and a tendency to focus on normative and functional goals to the exclusion of all else. Yet here were many of the seeds of the structural approach to social networks.
This chapter considers the relationship of mobile Afghan traders to Afghanistan. It argues that commercial nodes within Afghanistan act as vital hubs that are rich in the types of capital and commercial personnel critical for long-distance Afghan networks of credit and trade. A consideration of the entangled trajectories of commercial actors and migrants also challenges the depiction of Afghanistan as a one-dimensional departure point for migrants. The country instead plays a central role in inter-Asian circulations of goods, capital and people and occupies a critical role in interconnected and multidirectional geographical trajectories of merchants and migrants. The chapter documents the importance of practices of entrustment and the giving of favours to mobile Afghan to the country significance to long-distance trading networks. Afghanistan’s trading networks and the nodes important to them inform development across Eurasia in settings where we might least expect them to do so. In this sense, tracing Afghan trading networks reveal connections between different parts of Eurasia – connections in which Afghans are themselves active in constructing.
Chapter Three, ‘At Camp’, explores how military camps produced new tensions as the men began to observe and interact with troops from other part of the empire and among the Allied forces. Colourful descriptions of the ‘Empire united in arms’ elided the asymmetries of power and inter-colonial competition at stake in the militarised setting. The struggle to achieve status within an envisioned hierarchy of colonial races manifested in how the men wrote about those they met and how they represented themselves – in their uniform, fitness and soldierly bearing – in these spaces. Military sports days and leisure activities afforded new opportunities away from the battlefield to prove martial manliness, creating physical spectacles captured in official photography of the pageantry of the British Empire at war. The chapter thinks, too, about how these camp spaces encouraged curiosity about the new people the men were meeting and how they recounted moments of intimate and human connection that ran parallel to more antagonistic constructions of identity.