Brill’s New Pauly

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(2,316 words)

I. Social History

A. Greece

[German version]

1. Private Friendship

For the Greeks, friendship was one of the most important social relationships, generally egalitarian and guided by two main norms of behaviour, the duty of  reciprocity and a thinking guided by agonal competition (Thgn. 105ff.; 857ff.; 1263ff.; Eur. Or. 449ff.; 646ff.; Xen. Mem. 2,6,35). Political actions and the idea of justice were largely based on the desire of helping one's friends and harming one's enemies to …

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Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg) and von Reibnitz, Barbara (Basle), “Friendship”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 25 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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