Amicitia in Plautus: A Study of Roman Friendship Processes

American Journal of Philology 125 (2):209-243 (2004)

This article argues that a close reading of friendship practices in the plays of Plautus, in light of the relevant social science and anthropological literature on friendship, can help us establish the parameters, discourse, and behaviors associated with Roman friendship. Application of a new analytical framework for studying such relationships in ancient literature (a "processual model of friendship interaction") to the plays of Plautus increases our understanding of Roman amicitia in that it marks the relationship as a precious and all too rare social bond, fraught with paradox and ambivalence, and generative of tensions, anxieties, and asymmetries
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DOI 10.1353/ajp.2004.0016
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