Friendship, Death, and Love Gone Crazy

Seneca, Moral Epistle 9.10-11

“Why do I need a friend? So that I can have someone to die for, someone I can join in exile, someone whose life I can lease with my own, a promise I will pay. The kind of friendship you describe is cheap and not really friendship since it is based on convenience and focused on what you can get. There’s no doubt that a love affair is something like friendship–we might call it an insane friendship. Still, does anyone love for the sake of profit, advancement, or fame? True love, heedless of all else, sparks the soul with a care for a beautiful thing, not without hope for requited affection.”

In quid amicum paro? Ut habeam pro quo mori possim, ut habeam quem in exilium sequar, cuius me morti opponam2 et inpendam. Ista, quam tu describis, negotiatio est, non amicitia, quae ad commodum accedit, 11quae quid3 consecutura sit spectat. Non dubie habet aliquid simile amicitiae affectus amantium; possis dicere illam esse insanam amicitiam. Numquid ergo quisquam amat lucri causa? Numquid ambitionis aut gloriae? Ipse per se amor omnium aliarum rerum neglegens animos in cupiditatem formae non sine spe mutuae caritatis accendit.

Colo photograph of two figures holding hands. They are visible only from waist to shoulders and are women-presenting, facing each other
Picture from Wikimediacommons, Mathias Klang from Göteborg, Sweden “Friednship

Leave a Reply