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date: 30 November 2022



  • Howard Hayes Scullard
  •  and Andrew Lintott


Amicitia, friendship in Roman political terminology. The relationship might be between Rome and either another state or an individual (see client kings), or between individuals. Amici populi Romani were recorded on a tabula amicorum. Although amicitia involved no treaty or formal legal obligations, the term was often associated with alliance (societas) and might describe strong ties and indeed dependency. In Roman political and social life the amici of an eminent man acted as his advisers in public and personal matters and might form a group of devoted political adherents (though the word suggests equality of status such men might well be subordinates). Ideally amicitia involved genuine trust and affection (Cic. Amic.), in practice it might only be an alliance to pursue common interests. Such friendships frequently conflicted. Nevertheless, their making and breaking were formal. Under the Principate the friends of the emperor formed, with his kinsmen and freedmen, his court (see amicus augusti).


  • Roman Law

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