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Cicero: de Amicitia [Paperback]

H. E. Gould , J. L. Whiteley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 1983 0865160422 978-0865160422 New ed of 1941 ed
Not only will this book enhance Latin skills and increase knowledge of the social and ethical values of ancient Rome, it exposes the student to Cicero at his most eloquent as he muses on the nature of friendship.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Cicero - about friendship Jan. 18 2001
Format:Paperback
When I saw the title and the author I first thought: such an old book, not worth to read. But since there are very few books about this topic, I gave it a try. And I was fascinated! The book is written like a protocolled talk with a famous man, called Laelius (who was a real existing person!). He was known as a good friend to someone who had died recently and they asked him if he was sad. He sad he was of course sad, but happy that his friend had a good life and a "quick" death, without pain. So many thoughts about friendship and what it means, the difference to love, the value of it are discussed in this text. Often I had the feeling of having had the same thoughts, but there were many new ideas and point of views about friendship which made me contemplate. Sometimes it took me several minutes to go on in the text - just because I had to think about one single sentence. The book isn't too long and it's not - as one could think - some weird philosophical stuff - it's just making you think about friendship! I loved this book and I wished everyone would read it!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless considerations on friendship June 29 2005
By nympha marina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Cicero writes about his own experience with friendship in a way that anyone can relate to throughout time. After the death of a good friend, Cicero ponders the meaning of this friendship, how he could bear the loss, and explicates his grounds for bereavement. He enumerates what qualities make for good friends, explains what characteristics expose a bad friend, and provides examples from his personal life. He writes this philosophy in the style of early Greek philosophers to get to the bottom of the concept of friendship, while presenting his case straightforward and in a way that that resonates in each of us through human understanding.

This edition of Cicero's work offers a background introductory essay on Cicero's life, times, and works, followed by the body of he full text. At the back of the book are literary notes, vocabulary gloss, and list of proper names that Cicero refers to. There are pictures throughout from wall paintings, vases, and coins that illustrate the imagery Cicero uses to describe his philosophy.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good intermediate Latin prose Dec 3 2004
By Jon Torodash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Cicero's prose style can be difficult for students breaking away from the simplicity of De Bello Gallico and Pharr's heavily padded Aeneid into reading Latin with greater fluency. Whiteley does an excellent job with the notes, although his dictionary appendix is too much of a crutch. Overly particularized definitions for some words are highlighted while more common meanings are omitted. It may not matter however, if the student is only interested in Latin as a hobby and not seeking full mastery.

I would have made a number of different choices in punctuating the text given its intermediate level, but nothing too major.

De Amicitia is not necessarily Cicero's easiest prose, but by no means his most difficult. It seems however, to avoid grammatical monotony, thus I find it a good text for acquainting intermediate students with a variety of possible constructions. The language of De Amicitia is not as highly nuanced as much of Cicero's other work, and in his preface, Cicero openly explains his stylistic intent. The subject matter is thought provoking, and the sentiments memorable, although perhaps a bit repetitive. I partake of the general consensus that Cicero was neither a first rate nor original philosopher, but that he was a very Roman one, and he had a unique talent for interpreting, comparing, and modernizing older ideas.

I sense that Whiteley had very clearly in mind toward what kind of student he wanted to gear this book, and has produced a fine reader in which there are no significant flaws.
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cicero - about friendship Jan. 18 2001
By Publius Ovidius Naso - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
When I saw the title and the author I first thought: such an old book, not worth to read. But since there are very few books about this topic, I gave it a try. And I was fascinated! The book is written like a protocolled talk with a famous man, called Laelius (who was a real existing person!). He was known as a good friend to someone who had died recently and they asked him if he was sad. He sad he was of course sad, but happy that his friend had a good life and a "quick" death, without pain. So many thoughts about friendship and what it means, the difference to love, the value of it are discussed in this text. Often I had the feeling of having had the same thoughts, but there were many new ideas and point of views about friendship which made me contemplate. Sometimes it took me several minutes to go on in the text - just because I had to think about one single sentence. The book isn't too long and it's not - as one could think - some weird philosophical stuff - it's just making you think about friendship! I loved this book and I wished everyone would read it!
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