Dynamics of Friendship in the Graeco-Roman World

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Dynamics of Friendship in the Graeco-Roman World

Department of Classics, Graduate Student Conference April 11, 2014

Appel à contributions
Date limite : 13 janvier 2014


The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

New York, NY

Keynote Speaker: Craig Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
dulcis inexpertis cultura potentis amici; expertus metuit
“It is pleasant to the inexperienced to cultivate a powerful friend; the experienced fear it.” Horace, Epistles I. 18. 86

Ancient conceptions embodied in the Greek and Roman language of friendship were far more nuanced than a single word—friend—allows, expanding into the spheres of the familial, political, and erotic. Ranging from Homer's Iliad to the Vindolanda tablets, the material and literary evidence flourishes with examples of family friends, political allies, and companions of the heart and is rich in examples of the types of relationships that, explicitly or implicitly, formed the foundations of ancient society. We find the inspiration of friendship at the center of many ancient traditions, from the Greek practice of xenia to the Roman patronage system; from the institution of pederasty to the amicus sociusque, the “friend and ally” of Rome. However, friendships can become complicated and problematic, due to an imbalance of power (as Horace indicates above), romantic intent, or the threat of jealous rivals.

The Graduate Department of Classics at The City University of New York invites graduate students in Classics and related fields to submit an abstract on the theme of friendship in the Graeco-Roman world for our seventh annual graduate student conference. This conference seeks to explore the blurred lines between friendship and related concepts.


Possible areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:

The vocabulary of relationships in antiquity
The boundaries and expectations of friendship
The benefits and dangers of cultivating friendships
The ambiguities and shared language of love and friendship
The role of friendshipin the public and private spheres of Rome and Ancient Greece
False friends, rivals, and friendships of convenience
Friendship among marginal groups: women, slaves, and soldiers
Examples and expressions of friendship in literary, epistolary, and material evidence

Please send an anonymous abstract of no more than 300 words as an email attachment no later than January 13, 2014. Submissions must include your name, university affiliation, and the title of the presentation in the body of the email. Papers should be 15-20 minutes in length. Selected speakers will be notified by the end of January. Please direct questions and abstracts to the conference chairs, Irene Morrison-Moncure and Chris Weimer, at:
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Source : Blog de l'APA


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