Cicero’s Laelius de Amicitia, written in 44 BCE, is both a philosophical treatise, in dialogue form, and a practical handbook on friendship. It is set in the year 129, a few days after the death of P. Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus (consul I 147, consul II 134), the bosom companion of the main interlocutor of the dialogue, C. Laelius Sapiens (“the Wise”, also known as Laelius the Younger) (consul 140). The other speakers are the sons-in-law of Laelius, Q. Mucius Scaevola (consul 117) and C. Fannius (consul 122).

The text opens with an extraordinarily detailed and lengthy argument, addressed to Cicero’s best friend Atticus, on the source and transmission of the dialogue (§§1-5). Here Cicero asserts that Scaevola, his …

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Burton, Paul. "Laelius De Amicitia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 April 2013
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]