Cicero on Friendship

“For friendship is nothing else than an accord in all things, human and divine, conjoined with mutual goodwill and affection, and I am inclined to think that, with the exception of wisdom, no better thing has been given to man by the immortal gods.  Some prefer riches, some good health, some power, some public honours, and many even prefer sensual pleasures.  This last is the highest aim of brutes; the others are fleeting and unstable things and dependent less upon human foresight than upon the fickleness of fortune.  Again, there are those who place the ‘chief good’ in virtue and that is really a noble view; but this very virtue is the parent and preserver of friendship and without virtue friendship cannot exist at all.” Cicero, On Friendship VI. 20. Loeb Classical Library, trans. William A. Falconer (Cambridge, MA  1923), pp. 130-31.

 

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