Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3: Cicero on Friendship (Vol. 9, pp. 16-26)

On this day in 106 B.C., Cicero was born, and in this selection, the most famous orator of Rome offers a definition of friendship.

To Cicero, friendship is "a complete accord on all subjects human and divine, joined with mutual goodwill and affection." He observed that "in the face of a true friend, a man sees as if it were a second self."

Of course, maintaining a friendship is much more difficult than outlining its qualities. Sometimes, it involves speaking hard truths. Cicero is wise enough to believe that friendship should not get in the way of honesty and that friendship should not be used to cover up acts of evil.

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