Revista Crítica de Historia de las Relaciones Laborales y de la Política Social

ISSN versión electrónica: 2173-0822


Giovanni Brandi Cordasco Salmena

Fecha de recepción: 1/11/2023
Fecha de aceptación: 22/11/2023

ABSTRACT: If in the most recent settings the state and war are conceived as phenomena directly dependent on each other is because the two concepts have evolved in this way. It should be noted, however, that this has not always been the case: in ancient civilizations, war was not a purely public matter, it was not an attitude of politics, distinct from the concept of peace. The State has, as a first way of identifying itself, a body of laws that necessarily provide for the rules that must manage the war, in all its aspects. As in any set of practical actions, the war also provides for a series of tacit agreements and unwritten laws that manage certain aspects of it that cannot be the subject of state legislation: Often these are very general rules to which we must adapt or rules established for individual events. The relationship between war and society ends in a written and unwritten corpus of rules, which sanction behaviour. History is historical analysis and this cannot be detached from a precise context, which is space and time, social relationship and specific personality. Although it is not always possible to make a distinction between the Greek and the Roman world, some distinctive features mark its civilizations. From a general point of view, scholars continue to be cautious about the genesis of war and the way in which it must be studied: according to the "bellicistic" opinion, relations between states of the ancient world were essentially warlike and hostile; a second theory, "pacifist", is in polemical opposition to the first: the relations would have been tendentially hostile as positive and therefore the positions between the States must be analyzed time by time; finally according to the method of the "genetic" theoryThe study of war must start from its genesis without neglecting the evolution of public institutions (evidently identifying war and state). Reflecting on the different experiences gained in Greece and Rome, which will be read through the testimony of Thucydides and Virgil, we will try, in the possible traits, to verify the possible points of coincidence and differentiation.

KEY WORDS: ethics of reciprocity – iura communia - diplomatic relations.

1.1. Introduction

It is not necessary to support the theory about the natural enmity between peoples and the foreigners’ rights - applied by Mommsen to the Roman legal experience - in order to justify the existence of treaties or differently shaped relationships between themselves. After the studies of Heus - which showed that there wasn’t a typical amicitia treaty with the purpose to remove the natural enmity’s status and that the bellum iustum could subsist even against peoples with which there wasn’t a preexisting juridical relationship - Phillipson, Catalano, De Martino, Cimma, Sini, the idea of people’s natural hostility was outdated .
In particular, Catalano perceives the Roman juridico-religious system in notionally universal terms realized in a sphere of relationships (with reges, populi or individual foreigners) the existence of which is independent both from particular agreements and a ethnic commonality. Within this system, more restricted spheres of relationships take shapes, on the basis of pacts with other peoples or unilateral acts. The system is, as such, supranational in the sense that it, by expanding with the ethnic groups, devises them in increasingly ample synthesis, with the political will that tends to an universal society.
The well-known passages from the III book of Cicero’s de officiis (3.108) would show this:

Regulus vero non debuit condiciones pactionesque bellicas et hostiles perturbare periuro. Cum isto enim et legitimo hoste res gerebatur, adversus quem et totum ius fetiale multa sunt iura communia.
The respect for the oath sworn by the Carthaginians to the consul Atilius Regulus is the starting point for Cicero's thought. The event is well noted: the consul, captured during an expedition in Africa in the first Punic War, was sent to Rome in order to negotiate the prisoner exchange, after swearing that, if the prisoners captured by the Romans hadn’t been returned, he would come back to Carthage. Atilius Regulus, placing the common good before his own, advised against the restitution of Carthaginian prisoners, by coming back in Africa, in accordance with the sworn oath. Cicero, mentioning the episode as an example of the prisoner consul’s nobility of spirit, draws attention to the observance of the oath’s sacredness, that concerns the conditions and the war’s pacts concluded with the enemy .
Within this universal system Rome devises an initial policy of alliances, especially military, in which the ones related with the ethnic situations are of particular importance.

2. Societas in the ancient alliances

It is well-known that the most ancient relationships between Rome and the italic peoples were shaped on societas. It appears as a military alliance, of a basically perpetual nature, established between two or more communities , with defensive and offensive purposes, with the requirement to provide military contingents, troops or ships to the ally.
In this early structure the societas relationships - as Mommsen noticed - reveals the phases of the Roman hegemonic policy founded on the preservation of the autonomy for the single communities militarily linked with Rome.
In literary sources the distinction between the Latins (Latinum nomen) and the italic socii is reported in an asyndetic locution with which the Romans stated their allies in Italy, distinguishing them from the extraitalic socii.
The peculiarity of the italic alliances compared to the transmarine ones is summarized in an articulate expression contained in the epigraphic agrarian law of the 111 B.C. (lin. 21): civis Romanus sociumve nominisve Latini, quibus ex formula togatorum [milites in terra Italia inperare solent] . The statement, in which it is possible to read the ultimate expression of the italic alliance’s juridical awareness , relates the asyndeton socii nominisve Latini with two conditions that contribute to isolate the detail of these ancient connections: the position in the italic land and the regulation of their military contribution according to the formula togatorum.
This last expression - that is mentioned in its complete form only in the agrarian law’s text, but to which some Livy’s passages and a Polybius testament expressly refer - states the assimilation of the italic people in the roman military organization, making their contribution, identified with the criteria stated in the formula, fundamental for the Roman army, instead of the potential extra-italic allies’ assistance .
The reference to the toga, from which togati, refers to the Roman citizenship’s core, interpreted by someone as the symbol of the Roman cultural koiné that cives increases with the military contribution for the Latins before and the peninsula’s Italics after, conceived by others as the reference to the conscription list . Most likely the formula included both the list of the allied communities and the criterion for determining the amount of the military contingent - the requirement that would have distinguish this formula from the sociorum one (the list of extra-italic associates) and from the formula amicorum (the list of friendly communities). In other terms, while the socii et amici populi romani in the Middle Republic had no predetermined military obligations, the italic associates, in accordance with the formula togatorum, had a responsibility already assumed with Rome on the military contribution cooperating with Rome in her military campaigns .
The established relationship between Romans and allies would have contributed to define the Roman hegemony’s geographical theater. Indeed, it was observed that Rome was one of the few ancient people that didn’t employ mercenaries in their conquest wars, choosing to create an army institutionally funded on the integration between cives and italic allies. It cannot be excluded that after the 338 B.C. about half of the Roman army was constituted by italic allies and that the integration policy matched with an expansion plan of the Roman hegemony confirmed by its following history .
Since the III Century B.C. it is possible to attest some relationships with extra-italic peoples qualified as societas and generally related with the amicitia - socii et amici, societas et amicitia: the two terms are often used in a fungible manner, sometimes the term amicus is used, sometimes socius, some other times socius et amicus, in order to qualify the same situation - based on an ancillary military partnership with Rome, generally perpetual, that would imply the submission of the foreign people - as evidenced by the terminological exchange of the original formula amicorum with the formula sociorum .
The examination of literary and epigraphic statements on the international relationships from the III century B.C. on, allows to describe a clear framework of the roman expansion in the Mediterranean basin .
The most ancient statement relates with the Roman campaign for Sicily's conquest, gradually removed from the Carthaginian influence. In order to ward off the sort of other Sicilian cities fallen in the power of Rome, Hieron II of Syracuse came to terms with the Romans before they arrived outside Syracuse. The peace was concluded around the 263 B.C.: all the conquests were given to the Romans, in addition to a war indemnity and an annual tribute; half of his ancient territory was recognised to Hieron with the obligation to support Romans in the war against the Carthaginians, previous Syracusans’ allies . Some literary sources, in the face of a not-univocal picture, define the relationship so established between Rome and Syracuse as founded on friendship and alliance . A few decades later Rome began her expansion toward the eastern Mediterranean: in the problematic balance between the local dynasties the Romans integrated, by creating a game of alliances that, moving the power’s focal point toward the west, will be increasingly characterized as instruments for the Roman hegemony’s exercise. In this framework the Roman promise for amicitia and societas to Seleucus II Callinicus, King of Syria takes place, probably between 247 and 226 B.C., that supports the Romans’ try to insert in the thorny relationship between the Seleucids and the Ptolemies; in addition to the renewal of the treaty of συμμαχία και φιλία between Rome and Pharus in 229/9 (219/8) B.C ., at the time of the first Illyrian War solved with the crucial Roman intervention. The war against the Carthagineans catalyzes the military and diplomatic efforts in the following years : this is the context in which the relationship - sometimes identified as friendship, sometimes as societas and some other times amicitia et societas - takes place, established in the scope of an easy policy of alliances, by Syphax, King of Masaesyli Numidians (213 a.C.) with Rome. After the defeat of the father and his death, Symphax’s son, Vermina requests to the Roman people to be considered rex socius et amicus, but the Romans reply that this denomination is an honor that Romans grant with a high price, requesting him to first ask for peace and accept the serious conditions that were imposed. In addition, the treaty that Romans concluded during the second Punic War with the Aetolians (212 B.C.) against Philip of Macedon pursuant to which in amicitiam societatemque populi Romani venire. Furthermore it is added that, if the Eleans, the Lacedemonians, Attalus, Pleuratus and Scerdilaidas wanted to join Rome and the Aetolians in the war against the Macedonian King, they would have become, as well as the Aetolians, friends and allies of the Roman people (eodem iure amicitiae ). The treaty between Rome and the Attalus I, King of Pergamum (211 B.C.) is the concrete evidence of the implementation of the provision added to the treaty with the Aetolians.
In a different scenario, the second Macedonian War’s one, Philip V of Macedon, after he was subjected to heavy peace’s conditions following the battle of Cynoscephalae (197 B.C.), sends in Rome messengers ad societatem amicitiamque petendam with the purpose to renegotiate the relationship with Rome . After the victory over Philip, the consul Flamininus declares during the Isthmian Games in 196 B.C., the freedom of the greek populations, of which Rome is the guarantor. Every attempt or threat to this freedom is indeed protected by Romans: some examples are both the war against the Spartan tyrant, Nabis (195 B.C.), to start which Flamininus refers to a previous relationship of amicitia and societas lawfully concluded with the King Pelops, of whom Nabis wasn’t recognised as a legitimate successor ; and the relationships with Antiochus III, King of Syria, who in 193 B.C. sends to the Romans a delegation ad amicitiam petendam iungendamque societatem .
The Roman interventions in Asia become more frequent in the following decades and refer to previous relationships of friendship and alliance: in the 163 B.C., Ariarathes V of Cappadocia asks to renew the friendship and the alliance with Rome ; during the conflict between Attalus II and Prusias II (154 B.C.) the Romans, in order to force the king of Bithynia to desist to the intent to continue the hostilities, by referencing to their friendship and alliance relationship with Prusias, just as they use the same phrase to identify the relationship with the king of Pergamon . Around the middle of the II century B.C., the translation of a letter of the praetor M. Aemilius addressed to Magnesia and Priene in Minor Asia, refers to the relationship of friendship and alliance, sometimes of friendship only with the roman people ; additionally, the greek translation of a senatuconsultum reveals that the cities of Narthecium and Melitaea were Roman people’s excellent friends and allies . Analogously, in an inscription from the 155 B.C., the king Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II defines his relationship with Rome as φιλία και συμμαχία ; probably the relationship of enduring φιλία και συμμαχία, by ground and sea, between Rome and Maronea on the coast of Thrace dates back to the same period, with equal conditions . The sources attest before the 92 B.C. the conclusion of a friendship and alliance’s treaty between the Romans and Mithridates VI king of the Pontus and with his son, king of Paphlagonia . In the 81B.C. in the wake of the Mithridatic War, Sulla, in a letter to the city of Stratonikeas in Caria appreciates the friendship and the alliance of the population toward Rome; in the 56 B.C, the friendship and the alliance between Rome and the city of Issa is stated.
With this rapid gallery, I wanted to report only some of the many testimonies on the instrument of the treaty of friendship and alliance that characterizes the relationship between Rome and the Mediterranean people since the III century B.C . Although the framework is incomplete , it however allows us to focus on a not secondary phenomenon in the supranational relationships, whose novelty, related to the spatial context in which the friendship and alliance’s relationship develops, clearly emerges even by means of the comparison with the different and more ancient structure of the relationships between Rome and the Italic peoples.

3. The state of the doctrine

From an initial flattening of the relationship between amicitia and societas on the amicitia tout court, defined in the monumental Mommsen’s construction, we have reached, with some more recent contributions, its technical range’s appreciation, by relating it with Rome’s political growth. As I said, Mommsen places near, on the basis of a formal similarity, the amici peoples and the socii et amici ones. Even though he actually introduced a tripartition in the supranational relationships - amici, socii and socii et amici - Mommsen doesn’t take care of explaining further the nature of this halfway type between friends and allies. However, moving the focus focal point on the friendship relationship and so on a condition of equality between the parts, rather than the relationships of subjection that connects Rome with the socii peoples, allows yet to shape the situation of the peoples socii et amici as equal.
At the beginning of the last century, the interest for the matter re-emerges in two contributions, nearly contemporary, of Matthaei and Sands . The first one, starting from the Mommsen’s insight, considers that the denomination socius et amicus is nothing but the official title used by Romans for the friends , supposing hat on the occasion of the request of friendship’s renewment a friend people voluntarily assumed the commitment to provide military support, adding the societas to the amicitia relationship .
Differently from Mommsen, however, the scholar considers necessary to trace back the analysis on the supranational relationships to the dual track of the amici on one side and the socii on the other, having discovered no traces of the actual existence of a specific third class of relationships (socii et amici) . Within these reference limits Matthaei traces the event of the Rome’s supranational relationships; from the original military bond with the latin peoples - socii - Rome, during the second Punic War, would have opened herself to relationships with the Mediterranean peoples, using the amicitia or the amicitia et societas - this last treaty’s form would have been shaped as a compromise between the Roman need to establish durable relationships (amicitia) and the foreign people’s, in particular the Greeks, need to secure military alliance aimed to the current military needs (societas) . In concrete terms, of course, the condition of the socii would imply a series of binding obligations for the associated community that would be excluded instead from the condition of amicus .
Sands - as he observes himself - comes, although with a different method, to the same conclusion of Matthaei on the sameness of the socii et amici with the amici, who would have no obligation to provide Rome military contingents. The composite phrase would have been used with increasingly regularity starting from the II century B.C., in connection with Rome’s political and military power’ growth, to emphasize the condition of inferiority of the amici, until the final transformation into socii .
This last observation, based on the attention for the power relations in the Mediterranean, was approved by following authors - I refer, in particular, to Dahlheim , De Martino and Cimma - who, conversely to Matthaei and Sands, mostly notices the technicality of the friendship and alliance’s relationship, by reading in it the reflection of a modification of the original friendship’s relationships into a more burdensome relation for the foreign peoples that requested, along with the duty to preserve the peace toward Rome, her friends and allies, the responsibility to collaborate to the hegemonic power’s military feats. Such a circumstance, even if it didn’t compromise juridically the sovereignty of the Roman people’s friend and allied community, put it under its political sphere of influence .
So the question can be summarized with the observations of Maria Floriana Cursi, who noticed the existence of supranational relations designed as alliance and friendship, developed on the occasion of Rome’s emergence on the Mediterranean and strictly dependent on its political weight .
In any case, what is certain is that the perspective from which the phenomenon was examined is the Roman one: Rome expands in the Mediterranean and builds, according to her own methods, relationships with foreigners .

4. Diplomatic relations in the Near East

The analysis on the supranational relationships in the Mediterranean basin let several testaments of friendship and alliance treaties emerge and, actually, these ones predated Rome's coming in that area.
As testified by the archives of Mari, the Amarna letters and later the Hittite documents, already in the Second Millenium B.C the Near and Middle East was animated by intense diplomatic exchanges which imply a formalized system of international relationships, shaped on the interpersonal relations, in which the metaphors of brotherhood and father-son’s relationships are often employed to qualify the relations between the kings of different communities .
Usually two classes of treaties are recognised: the ones with which vassalage bonds are created and the ones concluded on equal terms. The first ones - that probably denote an early phase of the relationships between eastern peoples - have for the most part an unilateral nature and are based on the promises that the vassal does under oath to the sovereign community ; the second ones, most likely more recent and more articulate, refer to solidarity forms expressed through “brotherhoods”, which contribute to create a mood of friendship between peoples without actual advantages both from the military and business point of view .
The sources testify some recurring terms to express the alliance: salīmum (peace, reconciliation, friendship) and athūtum or ahhūtum (brotherhood). The first term could indicate both the equal relationships between kings that called themselves “brothers”, and the relationship between sovereign peoples and subdued peoples, respectively “fathers” and “sons”. Ahhūtum expressed the nature of the salīmum, and referred both to friendly relationships that preceded the alliance and the new bond following the salīmum itself .
From a formal point of view, a recurring feature in this kind of treaty’s qualification consists in the use of hendiadys to describe their content. A particularly widespread phrase, which refers to the concept of peace and friendship as preconditions for the agreement is ahhütu u’ ra amūtu (friendship and love). This, according to the doctrine, would have freezed in the Hurrian-Hittite sphere around the middle of the Second Millenium and from here it would passed to the Achaeans, until it was standardized by the Greeks in the formula φιλία και συμμαχία , expressed by the Romans as amicitia et societas .
This last assertion, by tracing a continuity between the eastern part of the ancient world and the western one, offering a glimpse of the intense relations between the peoples in the Mediterranean basin, opens to a new study perspective on the antiquity of the western world’s diplomatic models, that would have acquired just through the contacts with the eastern peoples, and not creating in an original way, systems of international relations stabilized by the practice.

5. The treaties of φιλία και συμμαχία in the Greek world

The sequence of events that led to the formation of treaty obligations in the Greek world is reconstructable with greater margin of certainty .
In the most ancient phase, especially in epic contexts, the use of the term φιλότης is attested to indicate the relation that connects, through a certain act, two individuals. In an international perspective, this kind of relationship appears as a sort of hospitality and protection’s relation that bonds the foreigner to a community’s member and that makes the two contractors φίλοι .
The sources let records to emerge, and they would draw attention to the objective relational and social character of the mutuality’s bond, to which the reference to friendship and love’s interpersonal relationships seems to remain unrelated . The φιλότης, as it was said «is not the object of the pact, it doesn’t represent its ‘content’: it rather represents the pact itself», whose solemn and binding character is highlighted by the oath, the call to loyalty, the perpetuity of the obligation.
In the most ancient lexicon of the international treaties φιλότης is attested, within the sphere of the diplomat agreement of συμμαχία , as a synonym of φιλία - terms that later, in classical age treaties, will definitely replace φιλότης, testifying the tight bond between the two words (φιλότης and φιλία) .
From its employment in the hospitality relations between individuals, with characteristics similar to the ξενία and that refers to the φιλότης, the notion of φιλία begins to be used even to define the relations between communities especially from the VI century B.C, after the widespread establishment of the term in the Greek social life, ascribable to the divulgation of the Pythagorean school in addition to the emergence of the «colonialism and the event of the Olympic sanctuary’s regulatory function», assigned to the greek treaties’ conceptual, lexical and technical elaboration. From the VI century B.C. a transformation process started and it led the φιλία to take on an increasingly theoretical content, related with the growing political-ideological of the term .
In this perspective, it is not accidental that -as it was noticed - Thucydides makes Pericles say, in the funeral speech for the first Athenian deads in the Peloponnesian War, that the sign of Athens’ generosity toward the other Greek cities lies in the fact that she takes the initiative in friendships, by giving benefits and not asking for them. And this would cause a sense of gratitude in the friend community that would guarantee the people relationship’s stability and safety.
The combination with the συμμαχία intervenes to support the diplomatic function of the φιλία, at the beginning used most of all to promote the business contacts between the Mediterranean peoples: an alliance provided for in a treaty of defensive and offensive character - does not limit, such as the ἐπιμαχία only to the allied territory - generally egalitarian and with fixed terms that, with time, became the principal instrument of Greek Hegemony’s construction .
It wouldn't be a casual choice: the hendiadys would express the will not only to conclude a military alliance, but even to establish a condition of good relationships , potentially open to further mutual advancements . Such that the two term’s frequent recurrences to define the content of the agreement leads to believe that it is an obligated syntagm in which - as it was said - the friendship’s treaty represents the alliance’s prerequisite. The interesting fact for us, beyond the event related with the meaning of the two terms, is their use as hendiadys. As in the Near East, the friendship and alliance relationship is expressed by coining a phrase that resembles the eastern one, of which it maybe is the translation, and that takes on the characteristics of a stylistic feature that is reproduced in time almost unchanged in its form, even if with different contents variable depending on the historic and geographical context. Already around the VI century B.C. attestations of φιλία/φιλότης (or ξενία ) και συμμαχία in the Greek world ; think of the treaty that the tyrant Thrasybulus of Miletus and the king of Lydia Alyattes, concluded around the 600 B.C., in which they reconcile agreeing to be each other friends and allies . The offer of alliance that Athens proposes to the King of Egypt, Amasis dates between the 560 and the 526 B.C., during the war against the Persian, as a token of gratitude for the help provided by Amasis to the Athenians throughout a famine which had occurred in Athens and what the sending of wheat by Amasi allowed to overcome. So Athens and Amasis stipulated a pact of mutual friendship and alliance . Moreover, the φιλότης και συμμαχία treaty between Amasis and Cyrene around the 565 B.C. falls within the framework of Persian expansionism’ containment, and it was characterized by tangible signs of φιλότης such as the sending of a votive offering to Cyrene; in order to set the conditions for a relation that, by overcoming the military partnership, allowed a pact’s reinforcement even taking in consideration the marriage between Amasis and Ladice, daughter of the Cyrene’s king, that encouraged forms of epigamy between egyptian and cyrenean prominent figures . Analogously, but with more independence from the interpersonal relation’s feature, the treaty between Croesus, King of Lydia and Sparta, considered the most powerful community in Greece, concluded between the 550 and the 546 B.C. in which Croesus, on the advice of the Delphic Oracle, asks for friendship and alliance of the Spartans, that reciprocated . In the same lapse, before the 546 B.C. a friendship and alliance treaty between Colophon, city of Asia’s Ionia and Lydia - to which Philarco connects the weakness of Colophon’s customs - was concluded.
The alliance and friendship (συμμαχία και φιλία) between Sybarites and Serdaioi dates back before the 510 B.C., probably it was a people from Magna Graecia , which is thus formally acquired in the sybaritic sphere of alliances.
The inscription coming from Sparta’s acropolis - attesting to the treaty of friendship (?), peace and alliance between Sparta and Aetolians Erxadieis between the 500 and the 470 B.C. - appears fairly incomplete. The reference to peace leads to contextualize the treaty at the end of a war that opens to the two relations: the first is the most uncertain one, hypothesized to fill a text’s gap, the other one is more certain, probably in order to annex the Aetolians’ small community to the Peloponnesian league .
The friendship and alliance treaty between Knossos and Athens - or rather the projection in the treaty’s form of the two cities’ good relations - probably dates back to 450 B.C. and it was proposed by Epimenides called from Crete to Athens by Nicia, daughter of Niceratus, in order to purify the city from the plague. After the operation, instead of collecting a reward from the Athenians, Epimenides requested to conclude a pact between Knossos and Athens, that fits into the context of a political-military cooperation introduced by Athens and Argo, whose connection with Crete brings with it the Athens’ approach to Crete . There is some evidence related to relations that occurred between Athens and Sitalces king of Thrace and Perdiccas II King of Macedon in 431 B.C. which fits in the Athenian expansionist policy in Macedonian territory. In particular, the relationship between Athens and Sitakles of Thrace is defined by Thucydides συμμαχία, even if we must consider probable that the treaty, according to the Diodorus’ testimony was rather a φιλία, which also contemplated a military cooperation between the parts, the one that the epigraphic sources state as φιλία και συμμαχία . In the 425 B.C. the Sparta’s offer of peace, alliance, friendship and good relations with Athens is testified . The opportunity is provided by the naval engagements between Spartan and Athenians in front of Pylus, in the southwestern Peloponnese, during which some spartans become prisoners in the Island of Sphacteria. The draft treaty, actually, is part of the more general political framework, that can be deduced by the treaty’s content itself: Sparta, outlining the likely future scenario given by the political hegemony of the union of Sparta and Athens over the rest of the Greek world, calls upon Athens to the agreement in a crescendo of options that subtend their relations’ stabilization . Most likely we can date back to the same laps the friendship and alliance’s extension that Perdiccas II king of Macedon incurred with Athens to Arrhabaeus king of Lyncestis, in turn friend and allied of Athens. Even in this mutual relations’ context, the standardized formula ‘friendship and alliance’ recurs . The formula also appears in the misleading proposal made by Arsace, lieutenant of Tissaphernes in the 442 B.C. to the Delian exiles in Adramyttium . The friendship and alliance’s treaty between Athens and the Bottiaea also dates back to the 442 B., at the end of a hostility’s period between the two cities . In the treaty text, survived full of gaps, the Athenians’ situation actually appears less demanding than the Bottiaea’s one, given that while these last ones promise friendship and alliance, the Athenians are limited to the alliance, because the honor to be called Athens’ friends is not granted to everyone. Finally, Xenophon testifies the promise of friendship and alliance mentioned, on the occasion of the Spartan offensive in Minor Asia in the 395 B.C. by the persian satrap Pharnabazus to the Spartan King Agesilaus . At the end of this rapid examination of the main testimonies related to the friendship and alliance treaties concluded already in the VI century B.C. in the Greek world, the hendiadys’ use to indicate a specific contract type emerged with undeniable certainty’s margins.

6. Resumption: The exact content of amicitia and societas in Roman diplomatic perspectives

The frame outlined as yet on the relations between Mediterranean peoples before Rome's appearance seems to me unambiguous to the point to try not only a reconstruction of the content of friendship and alliance’s treaties, but also a reinterpretation of the Roman imperialistic ordeal itself.
Looking from the Roman perspective, the hendiadys amicitia et societas used in the treaties with the extra-italic peoples results, during the III century B.C. of course abnormal, considering that in the original history of the relationships with the italic peoples Rome built her hegemony on the basis of military alliances (socii italici).
But if we shift the perspective, by adopting the Mediterranean peoples’ viewing angle, we realize not only that, even before the Rome’s coming, there was an intense flow and sharing of cultural patterns, but even that such patterns deeply influenced the Roman approach to the Mediterranean, forcing Rome to rethink her original strategy of international relations.
A Greece and Rome’s historian like Erich Gryen, in a revisionist study on Roman imperialism, poses among the others the problem of the reference to the ‘social’ model practiced by Rome with the Latin peoples in order to modulate the new relationship with the Greeks. The ground of the discussion - he warns - is extremely slippery assuming that the aims of the foedera, and in particular the clausula maiestatis integration, rarely come to light and most often their examination is conditioned by the dichotomy foedus aequum/foedus iniquum wrongly used by the doctrine to interpret the phenomenon of Roman supranational relations .
But the observed doubts of formal character lead Gruen to the conclusion, substantial in this case, that Rome didn’t use the clausula maiestatis as standardized instrument for her hegemonic policy and consequently create politically unequal treaties .
The scholar retains rather that Romans used the fluid instrument of φιλία or amicitia to create «informal associations» - reinterpreting the hellenistic schemes for their own purposes - setting aside the official treaties that would have played - as Gruen also claims - a small part in the history of the relationships between Rome and Greece .
In other words - the scholar asserts - before the III century B.C. the amicitia wasn’t a diplomatic instrument in use at Romans, that would have imported it from the Greeks , such as the phrase amicitia et societas itself. However, for Greeks friendship merely described a relationships, without being an instrument of power:
«amicitia was a presumption of cordiality, not an imposition of duties» . Not even after the Treaty of Apamea - concluded in 188 B.C between Rome and Antiochus III, after the roman victories in Thermopylae in 191 B.C. and Magnesia the following year - Rome would have changed the meaning of the formularies already adopted in the Greek world and implemented by the common use. Although the heavy defeat of Antiochus removed any doubt on the Roman military superiority, the amicitia wouldn’t have appeared as a commitment with mutual obligations, remaining the flexible instrument as ever . Starting from this period, Rome’s authority in the Mediterranean is set to become uncontested and many of her amici are actually subdued, but nevertheless the amicitia would have retained its original meaning in the footsteps of Greeks . It is not through friendship - Gruen adds - that Romans justified their wars: Roman propaganda moves in other directions, such as the proclamation of Greece’s freedom .
The hypothesis developed by Gruen is certainly original and, even if not entirely acceptable in its results, offers an insight of great interest on the investigation about the relationships between the Mediterranean peoples, which configures friendship as a diplomatic instrument preexisting to Rome’s emergence in the Mediterranean and that Rome would have adopted not earlier than the III century B.C .
It is worthwhile to proceed in stages. Gruen highlights the interpretative conditioning of the dichotomy foedus aequum/foedus iniquum: there is no doubt that it isn’t usable, at least terminologically, for the Roman experience. The category of foedus iniquum doesn’t arise in the Roman reflection but in the later one based on the contribution of a fine connoisseur of Roman international relations of the caliber of Hugo Grotius, who reinterprets roman sources in the field of unequal treaties by the notion of foedus inaequale, semantically comparable to foedus iniquum, built in opposition to situations of full preservation of the summum imperium .
But having said that, it’s important to distinguish the formal data from the substantial one. In the latter perspective, it shouldn’t be concealed that Romans concluded treaties framed on a range of unequal relations, tending to, over time, the gradual unification of the conditioned deditio. If we wanted to fix some dates, it cannot be excluded that - as Luraschi observes - this situation results, before the expansion next the second Punic War, in the adoption of specific clauses that would have dictate case-by-case the inferiority’s conditions; from the treaty with Aetolians in 189 B.C. on, in the clausula maiestatis insertion, that would have formalized the inferiority status of the people allied to Rome . But we can go further than this and hypothesize, with Ferrary , that there wasn’t a specific clause and that the condition of inequality between the parties was made evident by the heavy provisions imposed by Rome, for example on military cooperation.
It seems to me that the attempt to reframe the issue of the different foedera types in its original substantial dimension, by avoiding its merely terminological analysis, leads to see in the increasing hegemonic role of Rome the political-military condition at the base of the generally supranational relation’s standardization. Even if the dichotomy foedera/aequa/foedera iniqua is not formalized, Roman jurists examine the political phenomenon in a distinction that is not negligible, framing the relations between Rome and the Mediterranean peoples.
This kind of approach is also reflected in the amicitia use. In the absence of statements before the III century B.C. on the Roman amicitia origin in international relations and while admitting, on the basis of the treaties preceding Rome’s emergence on the Mediterranean, that Rome adapted to the formularies in use at eastern peoples as for the modulation of relations with the Eastern Mediterranean communities themselves, I believe though, differently from Gruen, that the Roman hegemonic policy was spread not only by propagandistic instruments, but also by the international treaties themselves. And not only by the ones in which the clausula maiestatis appears, but even by a new interpretation of the relationships of φιλία και συμμαχία used for their own expansionist purposes that appear numerously stated in the sources mentioned above .

7. The Roman reinterpretation of Greek international patterns

From this perspective, we can try to explain the Roman jurists’ conclusions on the relationships between Rome and foreign peoples.
First of all a Pomponius’ fragment , that probably reports the opinion of Quintus Mucius, in which the jurist deals with the postliminium’s application conditions. As is well known, when a cives of his res came into contact with a community outside Rome - whether it be enemy or simply foreign - upon returning home the postliminium begins, as a form of reintegration in the community of belonging. In our case the jurist brings attention to a postliminum’s twofold declination depending on the application in the occasion of a wartime event, or in the absence of a war .
I’m focusing now on the postliminium in pace and in particular on its application criterion: nam si cum gente aliqua neque amicitiam neque hospitium, neque foedus amicitiae causa factum habemus: hi hostes quidem non sunt… .
The postliminium, as Pomponius writes, can find application only when the foreign community isn’t bonded with Rome neither by amicitia nor by hospitium or a foedus amicitiae causa. Here the jurist, by using the term pax, etymologically refers not to the pactio aimed to establish a relationship between peoples or to impose the end of hostilities, but rather to an absence of war situation in contraposition to the ritually declared hostility, that is the bellum. Therefore in the lack of any relationship between peoples, that in case of rupture of relation would lead the declaration of war, any occurrences of violent apprehension would imply the postliminium application according to a logic of an assimilation of the postliminium in pace with the in bello one.
Such a reading could be used to support the thesis - applied by Mommsen to the Roman juridical experience - on the natural hostility between peoples and the lack of rights for the foreigner: that is, it could be argued that the postliminium applies in pace in situations similar to the in bello one, and that is normal that a roman citizen, abroad, becomes servus of the other people (or vice versa). Actually the passage doesn’t allow us to draw such conclusions. Pomponius not only states that the people with which there isn’t any kind of relationship is not an enemy people (... hi hostes quidem non sunt) - expression that could be interpreted as simply purposed to distinguish the postliminium in pace between the in bello one - but most of all he doesn’t state a principle of general character, that is that every civis in foreign land becomes captus; but he only provides for the possibility of such a circumstance .
And we come to the relationships mentioned by Pomponius, whose absence can legitimate the capture in foreign land: among these obligations the hospitium publicum is included. Regardless of the individual reconstructions – Mommsen includes it among the ancient perpetual relations , Täubler interprets it as the prisoner of war condition who, set free, remains his own guarantor for the ancient enemy - the institution has very ancient origins, probably borrowed from similar hospitality forms present in the ancient Greece’s culture , and of course, lacking of actual applications at the time when Pomponius writes - if we believe the historical reconstruction that the doctrine suggested for the institution , encouraging in this way the hypothesis of the Pomponius text’s layering and its direct ascription, in this part, to Quintus Mucius.
In the imperial age, indeed, with the extent of the Roman influence that reduces more and more the range of peoples independent to its domain’s sphere, the hospitium would have lost its original typical structure, ending up to confuse with the amicitia, having taken the form of the unilateral concession with privileges similar to the hospitium ones.
The amicitia is mentioned in two forms: the one that bonds two communities in the absence of a specific treaty and that could be attributed to a good relaton’s condition - probably not different from the Gruen’s interpretation of the Greek φιλία. And furthermore the friendship was based on a foedus that could be interpreted as a Roman adaptation - in a perspective of a ritualization of the relationship and its results - of the good communities’ relations.
Regarding the latter friendship’s form, Livy is the one who formalized the tripartition of genera foederum with which the peoples can make a relationship of friendship:

Liv. 34.57.8. Esse autem tria genera foederum quibus inter se paciscerentur amicitias civitates regesque: unum, cum bello victis dicerentur leges; ubi enim omnia ei qui armis plus posset dedita essent, quae ex iis habere victos, quibus multari eos velit, ipsius ius atque arbitrium esse; alterum, cum pares bello aequo foedere in pacem atque amicitiam venirent; tunc enim repeti reddique per conventionem res est, si quarum turbata bello possessio sit, eas aut ex formula iuris antiqui aut ex partis utriusque commodo componi; tertium esse genus cum qui numquam hostes fuerint ad amicitiam sociali foedere inter se iungendam coeant; eos neque dicere nec accipere leges; id enim victoris et victi esse.
Through the mouth of Menippus, one of the delegation’s chiefs sent in 193 B.C. by Antiochus III king of Syria to Romans ad amicitiam petendam iungendamque societatem, in a generally exhaustive classifications, the three forms of foedera through which the foreign peoples contracts a friendship’s bond are expressed: or because the war outbreak brings them together, as it happens in the two first hypotheses, or because the parties decide by common accord to establish among themselves a friendship and alliance’s relationship. The logic behind the distinction is of course political-military: the war - or better the end of the hostilities or its absence - is the keystone around which the classification revolves.
In this perspective, the first two cases refer to the foedera that the two belligerent peoples can conclude at the end of the hostility. In the first hypothesis, when the tide of the war have clearly identified a defeated and a winner, the latter imposes to the first its conditions: Livy, indeed, writes that at the time that the destiny on everything is entrusted to the one who was the winner, to establish what remains to the defeated and what’s sized from them is a winner’s right. A power which is qualified by the Paduan historian with the locution ’dicere leges’ .
The return of the things is not uniquely provided in the case of victory of one community against the other, but it is testified even in hypotheses in which belligerent peoples achieve peace with equal conditions: in that case - Livy writes - there is the habit of asking and giving the res on the basis of an agreement and, if some ownerships’ changes occur as a result of war actions, the original positions are restored according to the ancient law’s formulas or according to a mutual advantage’s formula . This is the second genus foederum, through which foreign peoples, previously enemies, can conclude a friendship’s pact and that configures a sort of reciperatio following the war .
The third kind of treaty is placed outside the war logic and testifies, in response to a need to completeness, a further possibility reserved for the communities to make a friendship’s deal. The foedus at issue, in fact, is defined sociale - distinguished by leges, precisely because the contracting parties’ condition is neither that of the defeated and nor that of the winner -, and brings attention to the peoples’ will to make the friendship, independently from any occasion of necessary contact (the war).
If we compare the three contractual types, there is no doubt on the homogeneity of the first two to the political-military logic, to which the third remains unrelated instead. The principal division is between foedera amicitiae causa concluded after the war and the ones defined in the absence of war. The sociale foedus, that is the one concluded in the absence of war, is the only one that refers to the societas relation in terms that are functional to the amicitia establishment. And probably, considering what we said until now, it’s not by chance . Livy states the practice that the treaties have contributed to reveal: the close connection between amicitia et societas. The historian however doesn’t just compare the two conditions: he makes the societas instrumental to the amicitia. It is not implausible to read in this specific structure a Roman customization of the Mediterranean practice, The Romans, right from the beginning, shape their relationships with the foreign peoples in terms of military alliance, the meeting with Mediterranean cultural patterns introduces Rome to the amicitia related with the societas but Romans model the relation preferring, for military purposes, the societas - as it however appears stated by the replacement of the formula amicorum with the sociorum one.
Instead nothing emerges with regard to the balance of powers between the parties in the conclusion of this sociale foedus, on the contrary Livy offers an international relations’ framework based on the equality or disparity of conditions derived from the same or different political-military weight of the involved parties, without considering the actual political weight in the actual international relations’ development. With a very effective stylistic choice, Livy makes one of the Antiochus III delegation’s chiefs
- and not a Roman individual - theorize the foedera tripartition, in order not to fall into the temptation to make the dominant Rome’s role heavy. From a completely different perspective, a Proculus’ testimony arises, making the Roman hegemony the focus point of the juridical problems’ treatise:

D. (Proc. 8 epist.). Liber autem populus est is, qui nullius alterius populi potestati est subiectus, sive is foederatus est: item sive aequo foedere in amicitiam venit, sive foedere comprehensum est, ut is populus alterius populi maiestatem comiter conservaret. hoc enim adicitur; ut intellegatur alterum populum superiorem esse, non ut intellegatur alterum non esse liberum: et quemadmodum clientes nostros intellegiums liberos esse, etiamsi neque auctoritate neque dignitate neque viri boni nobis praesunt, sic eos, qui maiestatem nostram comiter conservare debent, liberos esse intellegendum est.
Proculus provides a concept of populus freedom which emerges in two senses: in the residual terms of the missed subjection to another people’s power or in the terms of the relationship established through a foedus, by distinguishing in this last category the federated who have contracted a foedus aequum, from the one that, instead, have provided, burden on one of the parts, the commitment to respect the other one’s maiestatis, in the same way as the relation between patron and client. On the latter contractual type the jurist lingers mainly in order to clear the field from the feeling that the people that accepted the clausula maiestatis didn’t appear free. And here he restates - taking as example the relationship between patron and client in which the client, while respecting the patron, retains his freedom - that the provision, actually, only contained the commitment to respect Rome’s superiority - as Cicero already stated on the meaning of the clausula maiestatis included in the treaty between Rome and Cadiz. This latter contractual type was renamed by the doctrine foedus iniquum, probably searching for a symmetry within the classification of genera foederum listed by the jurist, of which only the first one is expressly defined aequum.
Beyond the classification’s accuracy, it must be said that in both the cases the peoples establish with Rome an amicitia relationship: in a case, the foedus is aequum and it makes we think to Livy’s foedus in which the communities, at the end of the war, turned out to be pares bello or in the interpretation just suggested the foedus sociale contracted outside of the war; in the other one, the foedus is not equal but imposes the respect for the other one’s maiestatis in compliance with the scheme of the defeated people’s subjection to winner’s conditions. Up to this point the analogy between the Livy’s classification and the two types of foedus which in the interpretation of Proculus qualify the populus as foederatus: the similarities between the two sources end there. In fact Proculus, differently from Livy, frames the distinction by adopting the Roman hegemony’s perspective. In the second type of foedus, the jurist qualifies as free the peoples even if, in the relationship established with Rome, are obliged to respect her maiestatis (sic eos, qui maiestatem nostram comiter conservare debent, liberos esse intellegendum est).
In other terms, the jurist makes the supranational relation’s political criterion of equality and inequality obey the Roman expansionist logics. The amicitia is the treaty’s content but its value is shaped differently depending on the political weight of the people with which Rome establishes the relationship . This seems to me the best evidence of the direction’s change in political terms of the Greek friendship’s concept - still assuming that the Roman amicitia arised from the tracing of the Greek φιλία.

8. φιλία and κοινωνία in Greek interstate patterns

φιλία and κοινωνία represent two ancient matters and, together, of great topical interest. As Luca Grecchi states, in his nice paper Gli stranieri nella Grecia classica , the classical culture is, for structure and essence, a culture of acceptance, a culture deeply soaked in φιλοξενία rather than in ξενοφοβíα .

The foreigners, in fact, were always present in the different πόλεις and they were welcomed benevolently:

«in ancient Greece, both in classical and antecedent age (at least since the time of Homer) [...] they were almost always, in the different polis, welcomed benevolently; in man families, even, names containing the xenos word were given to the babies or - for example as Cimon did (Plutarch, Life of Cimon, 10, 7) - names of cities or foreign peoples were given to the sons, in order to show that universalistic vocation, which was typical [...] of Greek humanism» .

Furthermore, as it was mentioned, «the philoxenia was not but an aspect of the philantropia; the guest was always welcomed as if he was sent by the gods, and treated like a family member» . Not without reason, since the archaic age, the ξενία was practiced, and it provided for a relationship of assistance between two or more families. It is a private practice which little by little turns into that common public practice that becomes προξενία, through which a foreigner was accepted within the city.
This brief contribution intends to focus attention on two central notions in Aristotelian reflection, such as φιλία and κοινωνία, even by addressing the issue of the «self-sufficiency» (αὐτάρκεια), which from on point of view allows, and from another makes difficult, the pursuit of happiness to the human being.

9. φιλία expresses in many ways: the articulations of «friendship» notion in Aristotle

Starting from the topic of the φιλία, it is pertinent to notice that the first element to keep in mind when we are about to debate the friendship’s topic in the ethical reflection of the Stagyrite, is that «the broader treatise that a philosopher has ever dedicated to friendship consists of the two books of the Nicomachean Ethics» .
To this broad dissertation on the topic of the φιλία , contained in the Nicomachean Ethics VIII and IX, actually, we should add the two other specific treatises contained in the VII book of the Eudemian Ethics and in Great Ethics I, 11, and many other references, far less specific, to the question . The extraordinary vastness , as well as the absolute centrality , of the φιλία notion, actually, implies some difficulties even on the level of the translation of the term into modern languages. As it was noticed, in fact, «the friendship is [...] to be intended [...] in a very wide meaning (within which there are several differences), as the combination of the individual’s moral and emotional dispositions toward his own kind. The man does never live and act alone, but he’s structurally inclined toward the relation with the others; in fact, it is precisely within this relation that the individual fully realizes his own personality, and it s within it that he realizes his virtue and achieves happiness» .
Among other things the topic of friendship in Aristotle and, in wider terms, in the ancient mindset, constitutes, for its breadth, for its relevance and for its current elements is an extensively studied question, necessitating a comparison, as well as with its various turning points, with the large series of past and recent reflections that, with different approaches and through various gazes, wondered about it.
I will limit myself to a rapid and systematic reconstruction of this rich notion, by quickly enlightening the series of variations and repositionings made by the Stagirite’s lecture in this field and the series of scenarios that, on (and starting from) these repositionings, emerge.

10. First “act”: friendship as virtue

The first development of φιλία that I will try to reconstruct is the one of friendship as a virtue and, more specifically, as a moral virtue. The three lists of moral virtues presented within the three Ethics perfectly agree on this point, making friendship φιλία a μεσότης, that is a middle way, the happy medium, between the κολαкεία (adulation) and the ἀπέχϑεια (hostility) .
In Eudemian Ethics II, 3, 1221 a 7, in fact, in the ninth place of the virtues’ table, this three figures are really situated, as expressions, respectively, of excess, the deficiency and happy medium:

[excess] [deficiency] [happy medium]
Adulation (κολαкεία) Hostility (ἀπέχϑεια) Friendship (φιλία)

The question is resumed and clarified in Eudemian Ethics III, 7, 1233 b 29-30 where it reads that:

Friendship [...] is a middle point between aversion and adulation (φιλία δέ μεσότης ἔχϑρας καί ίκολακείας).

Such a scenario is suggested in Great Ethics I, 31, 1193 a 20-27 where we find written that:

Friendship is a middle point (μεσότης) between adulation and hostility and it concerns actions and speeches; the adulator, in fact, is the one who ascribes more values than someone deserves or effectively has, while the hostile individual is the one who is malicious and detractor of the truth. Neither of them, therefore, is deservedly praiseworthy, while the friend is in a middle ground between them; he, in fact, will not attribute more values than the actual ones, or praise things that does not deserve it or, on the other hand, diminish, or in the most absolute manner go against whatever he feels fair.
The clear and evident positioning of friendship in the context of the virtue is instituted equivalence, in other sections of the Ethics, between friendship and the habitus (ἕξις) that is the customary state that constitutes the value’s manner and mark.
Such a scenario, on friendship as a virtue, is not only fully confirmed, but even reinforced in other Ethics’ pages. In Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 1, 1155 a 26-28, for example, we read that «while among friends there is no need for justice, the righteousness, instead, need friendship and the highest level of justice seems to consist in a feeling close to friendship». So, in a way, friendship even surpasses justice, which is the summa of the virtues, the virtue par excellence.
As moral virtue and, rather, to some extent, the noblest of the moral virtues, friendship cannot but constitute a habitual state. Φιλία ἐθιкή τις εἶναι ἔξις («friendship is a habitual state of the character»), it reads in Eudemian Ethics VII, 1, 1234 b 27-28.
In, on the other hand, friendship configures as a virtue and, so, as a habitual state, this would imply its exclusion from the passion’s horizon, seeing as the virtue, as retired more than once within the aristotelian text , does not consist in a capacity (δύναμις) or in a passion (πάθος) but rather, indeed, in a habitual state (ἕξις).
Friendship is a ἕξις and, so, a habitus, and not a passion. To the emphasis of this fundamental trait of the φιλία Aristotle dedicates several passages in his Ethics. In Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 5,1157 b 31-32 for example, we read that

the righteousness want the good for the ones they love (τoῐς φιλουμένοις) [...] not in the wake of passion (oυ κατά πά𝜃оς) but on the basis of a habitual state (ἀλλὰ καθ’ἕξιν)

while even more clearly, in Nicomachean Ethics VIII 5, 1157 b 28-29 we literally read:

it seems that, while the affective connection constitutes a passion (ἡ μεν φίλησις πάθει), friendship is a habitual state (ἡ δε φιλία ἕξει).

Friendship, so, differently from the philesis , that is the affection, does not represent a passion but a hexis, that is a habitual state or a disposition or rather, to put it in Berti’s words , that «perfect disposition» which is the virtue. The φιλία, so, is ἀρετή, and the two profiles of friendship and virtue, in this perspective, perfectly correspond.

11. Second “act”: friendship as what is related to the virtue

But elsewhere Aristotle seems to prospect a partially different scenario, within which there is a detachment, even if partial, between the virtue’s perspective and the friendship’s one. In Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 1, 1155 a 3-5, in fact a double interpretation of the friendship seems to be suggested:

Therefore, after that, let us take care of the friendship. This, in fact, is some virtue (ἀρετή τις) or (ἤ) it is related to the virtue (μετ’ἀρετῆς) and it configures as an absolutely essential element for the existence.
The passage outlines, as it’s evident, a frame of friendship as virtue, much more veiled compared to the one reconstructed previously.
First of all, in fact, the identification of friendship with virtue seems to be supported, so to speak, with some reservations (as can be seen from the limit represented by the τις).
Furthermore, in the passage in question, besides the blurring of the connection between friendship and virtue (that even let someone talk about «quasi-excellence of the friendship» ), it seems to be advanced the possibility that friendship is shaped even (as evidenced by the conjunction ἤ) as something that is given together with the virtue (μετ’ἀρετῆς), and that is a situation which is connected with the virtue and so, as such, is not, or not tout court, the virtue.
Therefore a horizon, in which the virtue’s sphere and the friendship’s one do not result (or do not perfectly result) superimposable, seems to take shape.

12. Third “act”: friendship as passion

But Aristotle does not stop there. The Philosopher’s text, in fact, encourages to add to the just reconstructed frame a further and unexpected element.
In Nicomachean Ethics II, 5, the Philosopher wonders what the virtue is and if it consists in a passion, a faculty or a habitual state, and with which of those three it corresponds:
Since, therefore, the realities which spring from the soul are three, and that are passions, faculties, habitual states, virtue will be one of these things .
To this programmatic indication, an assertion which puts itself in absolute disagreement with the other previously reconstructed scenarios, follows: I mean by “passions” (λέγω δὲ πάϑη) desire, rage, fear, courage, envy, joy, friendship (φιλίαν) .
This new and unexpected possibility, therefore, faces us with a friendship expressly called to impersonate passion, that is that “reality” which, as repeatedly mentioned in the Ethics, cannot in any way be identified with virtue .
The break in continuity compared with the previously presented situation is very evident: friendship is a passion and, as such, it can not be considered as a virtue. The fact of experiencing a passion, indeed, as Aristotle recalls, is itself neither to blame nor to praise. If anything, it would be blamable or praisable to confront, respectively, good and evil, a determined passion, that is the virtue or the vice, consisting precisely in the ability to handle (properly in the first case, excessively or insufficiently in the second one) passions. But, if that’s the case, friendship, as a virtue and, together, as a passion, appears, at the same time, as the ability to handle and what must be handled, as what is experienced, that is, exactly, as passion (pathos), and as what allows to experience well this pathos (that is as virtue).
Berti exactly refers to this model’s duplicity when he states that «philia seems to be first of all an emotion or “passion” (pathos) [...] Nevertheless friendship is considered by Aristotle even as a disposition (hexis), that is a habitual state of the spirit, and as such is distinguished from the passion or the emotion, from which it’s generated, that is named philesis by him: term translatable as “affection” or “emotional feeling”» .
In summary, therefore, we can say that, up to this point, it is possible to find three different profiles of the friendship’s notion in the aristotelian ethic harangue:
a. Friendship as virtue;
b. Friendship as what combines with the virtue;
c. Friendship as passion.

13. Fourth “act”: friendship as what combines with passion

Moreover, it seems possible to juxtapose a further model with the just mentioned figures. And that is what can be learnt, negatively, from Nicomachean Ethics IV, 6, 1126 b 22-23 in which Aristotle, discussing about a habitual state that is placed midway between the complaisance and the litigiousness, states that such hexis, while similar to friendship, differs from friendship on the fact that it doesn’t express together with passion. On this state, he says,

it differs from friendship, because it doesn’t go with a passion (ἄνευ πάθoυς).
But, if that is the case, it seems possible to design, positively, a friendship’s image that, in the strict sense, doesn’t seem to match with any of the previously reconstructed scenarios. In fact, saying that the habitual state in question is not friendship because it doesn’t express with passion means to claim that, e contrario, friendship is what expresses together with passion, so implying a separation even with the third scenario, in other words by distancing from the perspective of a friendship that identifies with passion.
However if friendship, as it seems to emerge from this rapid reconstruction, is describable even in the terms of what expresses together with passion or what doesn’t express without passion, it follows that the passion itself constitutes an element important enough to appear as a distinctive friendship’s feature: where there is no pathos, we can’t speak of friendship stricto sensu.

14. Fifth “act”: friendship as a good and friends as exterior goods

But there is a further “gaze” on the friendship, that, while en passant, Aristotle entrusted to the reflection in his Ethics. In this case, actually, the gaze is lightly diverted and moved, as it were, from the abstract level to the concrete one, in the sense that the specific object of aristotelian focus is not the φιλία but rather the φίλοι, the friends.
It seems to me, even so, substantial to reconstruct, even if briefly, this particular profile of the friendship’s notion, on the basis of which friends would appear as goods and, more specifically, as “exterior goods”.
Even on this question’s aspect there is, in the three Ethics, an almost fully consensus. To the more general statement, included in Eudamian Ethics VII, 1, 1234 b 31-32, according to which the friend is one of the greatest goods (τῶν μεγίστων ἀγαθῶν τòν φίλоν εἶναι), two statements - included respectively in Great Ethics and Nicomachean Ethics - are related and according to them friends are not only exterior goods, but the greatest of them:

of the goods … some of them are exterior (τὰ μὲν ἐ kτός), such as richness, power, honor, friends (φίλοι), fame .

In Nicomachean Ethics IX, 9, 1169 b 9-20 moreover it reads

friends (φίλоυς) … are generally considered the greatest of the exterior goods (τῶν ἐкτῶν ἀγαθῶν μέγιστοv εἶναι) .

After all friends are considered a good so much essential for the human existence that a great shared misfortune is preferable to a delight enjoyed in solitude, as it reads in Eudemian Ethics VII, 12, 1246 a 9-10, at the end of the reflection on the relation between friendship and self-sufficiency:

a great adversity experienced in company (ἂμα) is than a great joy experienced alone.

These are statements that, as it’s evident, can be red in continuity with the scenario of friendship as virtue and that, to some extent, can be located within it. Friendship, in fact, as a virtue, is also a good, since all the virtues are even goods and, more specifically, soul’s inner goods (τὰ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ) .
Now, if on one side friendship, as a virtue, if a soul’s good, friends, that constitutes goods too and, rather, very noble goods, are to be counted into the exterior goods.
On the other hand, attention should be paid on the particular friendship’s state, which is an internal good, but, as it was said, is not an “internal state” which then needs to be actualized, but a virtue (and so a good) fundamentally “relational” . So we could say that friendship, that on one side is and can be described as a good of the soul, that is a good of the and in the individual, on the other side it doesn’t express except as good between individuals .

15. Along the friendship’s routes: final considerations

The friendship’s figure in Aristotle seems, therefore, to be characterized, in its constitutive plurivocity , as deeply polarized around two crucial figures and, together, absolutely immovable: the virtue’s one on one side and the passion’s one on the other .
How is it possible, if it is, to get orientation through the directions of this so deeply slippery and unfathomable figure? Is it possible, hence, to explain this variety of explicative models of the φιλία notion, by reconciling diametrically different viewpoints and make them coexist in a not contradictory way? It is a matter of listening to the aristotelian text, in order to redesign the overall picture and evaluate the possibility to knot again - without breaking them - the strands of this rich and intricate figure. In this rapid and brief process of framework’s reconstruction and, proceeding in an even more schematic way, it seems that, based on the aristotelian text, is possible to state what follows:
1) In the first place friendship constitutes, always and necessarily, a passion. In fact, as we saw, when there is no passion, another kind of relation takes place, and it’s very similar to friendship, but it’s not friendship strictly speaking;
2) moreover, the Aristotelian text allows us to say that, in some cases, the φιλία takes shape not as passion, but even as a passion experienced in the right way, a well handled passion, that is, in other words, as a virtue.
On this specific but fundamental point, that is, more generally on the connection established between friendship and virtue, it’s necessary to focus with further attention, in order to try to clarify some aspects of the question.
For this reason, in fact, it’s necessary to broaden the subject to that fundamental distinction, introduced by Aristotle in opposition to his Master , between different forms of friendship. In fact, there are three objects of friendship, that are the good, the useful and the pleasure, to which three forms of friendship correspond: the virtuous friendship, the pleasing friendship, the useful friendship. In this frame, in fact, the virtuous friendship appears as one of the possible friendships, representing that «relationship which has at its center two human beings, while the relationships based on pleasure or usefulness doesn’t fundamentally concern individuals but their qualities, their properties» .
In Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 5, 1157 b 25 it reads that friendship is especially (μάλιστα) the one established between virtuous ones, confirming that the virtuous friendship constitutes the best form of philia and the one more worthy to be defined as such, but it’s always one of the φιλία possible forms achievable between human beings. This means that even friendship is not always a virtue, but rather the virtuous friendship represents an extremely rare and difficulty feasible state of perfection .
On the other hand - and this constitutes a further and fundamental movement done by the aristotelian speech - for «virtue» it is understood, in this case, the ability to love the other, as it happens in Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 3, 1156 b 8-10, in which, speaking of virtuous friends, it reads that «those [...] as virtuous, wants in the same way the good for each other and are virtuous in themselves; moreover, those who want their friends’ good for themselves, are friends at the highest level».
a) the perfect friendship, that is the virtuous one, is such because the individuals implied in this relationships wants the each other’s good;
b) Those who establish such a friendly relationship are friends at the highest level.
As it is evident, so, in this context we do not mean by «virtue» the ability to deal with passions and feel them in the right way, but rather, through a different regulation of the ἀρετή concept, the ability to love others.
If that’s the case, as the aristotelian text seems to suggest, it is understandable why and in what sense it is possible to state that
1) friendship, in some ways, is a virtue, and it is a moral virtue, appearing as a rooted and enduring habitual state and as the right way to deal with passion, without unbalancing toward the excess with the adulation or toward the lack with the hostility;
2) but in some other ways it can be considered as a «virtue’s epiphenomenon» , and deeply characterized by virtue, while not being a virtue, so expressing met’aretès, that is «together with the virtue», meaning by «virtue» to want the good for the other.
It is, so, a matter of two explanatory models of virtue's notion, which makes it necessary to differently measure the friendship’s concept itself, that hinged on this double notion of virtue.
On the other hand this reading’s duplicity about virtue, which give place to different expressions of the friendship’s notion itself, seems to be supported by another interesting variance within the aristotelian text, consisting in the fact to state that friendship as virtue is, at the same time, but in different senses, a happy medium and an extreme: “happy medium”, μεσότης, since, as we saw at the beginning, friendship constitutes a middle point between hostility and adulation; “excess” inasmuch the perfect friendship represents, as the Stagirite reminds in Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 5, 1158 a 5, an ὑπερβоλή, that is an extreme:

in fact it seems to be similar to an excess (ἔοικε γὰρ ὑπερβоλῇ).

The treatise on self-sufficiency (αὐτάρκεια), to my mind, deserves a separate examination. Trying to proceed quite systematically, it is possible to identify two fundamental scenarios and, within each of them, distinguish various joints.

16. Self-sufficiency as “to live and stand alone”

The first scenario is the one based on the most evident and effective αὐτάρκεια meaning, that is to «be on your own» and, closely related to this, the «ability to stand alone».
That the autarkeia’s notion can be intended, in general, even by the meaning of «solitary life» (albeit, Aristotle precises, it is not the sense that it have to get in the ethical-political sphere ) clearly results in Nicomachean Ethics I, 7, 1097 b 8-9:

by “self-sufficiency” we don’t mean the fact that a single individual lives a solitary life (τῷ ζῶντι βίον μονώτηv). Not coincidentally solitude (ἀφιλία), that is the absence of social and emotional bonds, the Philosopher reminds in Nicomachean Ethics III, 6, 1115 a 11, is a harm to be afraid of, in step with disease and death . And if the human being, as a «political animal» cannot live alone, is because he’s not self-sufficient. In that sense, there is a very well-known statement in Politics, according to which

Therefore it is clear that the city is by nature and that it’s prior to the individual because, if the individual, as such, is not self-sufficient (μὴ αὐτάρκης), he will be in regard to the whole everything in the same relation in which the other parts are. So who cannot become part of a community or who doesn’t need anything, by standing alone, is not part of a city, but a beast or a god .

The perspective outlined in Ethics is alike. For example, in Eudemian Ethics VII, 10, 1242 a 7-8, it reads that

it is believed that human beings are brought together because they were not self-sufficient (διὰ γὰρ τὸ μὴ αὐτάρкειν).
But if, on one side, in an ethical-political sphere this self-sufficiency’s meaning cannot be applied, the same need to exclude from the ethical reflection this profile of the autarkeia’s notion, it means exactly that this represents one of the meanings of the questioned notion .
In this field, therefore, we have to say that the human being, as such, is not self-sufficient, in the sense that he cannot live a solitary life. In fact «one cannot achieve his own good without being part of a family or a political community» , that is without being part of a polis. But this polis, in turn, embodies, although on a different level, the self-sufficiency’s notion . In Nicomachean Ethics V, 6, 1134 a 26-27 in fact, it reads that individuals join and live together «in order to achieve self-sufficiency» (πρὸς τὸ εἶναι αὐτάρκειαν) .
But going back to the human beings as individual, it must be said that he couldn’t live if he didn’t have a series of essential condition to lead his existence:

there even will be a need for material well-being, since we are human beings; in fact our nature is not self-sufficient (οὺ γὰρ αὐτάρкης φύσις) [...] but it is necessary that the body is in good health, feeded and receives any other care .

The good health, the body’s care, the fact of living together with others, constitute so the human being’s normal condition who, by nature, as just said, cannot be self-sufficient, and that «needs such things to live as a human being (πρὸς τὸ ἀνθρωπεύεσθαι)» .
Then there is also a figure, the wise man’s one who, as a human being, is certainly not self-sufficient while, as such, dedicates himself to contemplation.

he will be able to contemplate even on his own (καθ’αὑτόν), and the more is wise the more he does it .

The wise man, immediately after defined αὐταρκέστατoς, that is «self-sufficient at the highest level» he lives, so, a condition that is not human, in the sense that, for his specifical activity, he doesn’t need anything and anybody , except his wisdom. Actually, we are not facing a contradiction with the system outlined as yet, because it is a matter of two completely different levels, which require different treatises, as Aristotle states with example clearness. In Nicomachean Ethics X, 8, in fact, after he compared the eudaimonistic scenarios of first and second level , and after he stated that a happy life is based on moral virtues and there is «a need of many things (πoλλῶν δεῖται), and all the more if actions will be great and beauty» , it is reminded that quite the opposite, for the one who contemplates, there will be no need for anything similar to act but, so to speak, they even stand in the way of contemplating.
If this is what has to be said on the wise man’s activity, and if this is the autarchy’s scenario that has to be outlined about such a figure and his activity, however we must remind, as the Philosopher does immediately after, that the wise man is a human being and as such, a completely different reasoning counts and must count for him:

On the other side, yet, since he is a human being and lives together with the others, he chooses to live in accordance with virtue; so he will need such things to live as a human being .

The human being’s nature, so, is such as it doesn’t allow him to be «self-sufficient as compared to the contemplation» .
So: the human being, since he contemplates, is self-sufficient, but he is not such for contemplating . And he is not such, so to speak, neither downstream nor upstream:
a) neither upstream, because in order to contemplate he needs goods which allow him, at least, to live and sustain himself ;
b) nor downstream because, besides achieving the height of happiness, in a solitary state (and so, in some way, non-human), the wise man needs to «live as a man», to compose a deep and varied net of social relationships, as it emerges very clearly in Nicomachean Ethics VIII, 5, 1157 b 20-22: even those who live happily desire to spend their time in company; in fact to be solitary does not belong to them at all.
As has been mentioned, in fact, for Aristotle

intellectual activity is not enough. Men are not solitary individuals, and human excellences cannot be practiced by solitary hermits [...] “Man - Aristotle says - is by nature a social animal” [...] This remark is not a random aphorism, but it’s included in the biological theory. “Social animals are those who have a certain shared activity between them [...] men, bees, wasps, ants, cranes are such .
Therefore, the regular human condition consists, according to Aristotle, of a life founded in many ways on κοινωνία.
More specifically it should be noted that the term κοινωνία means «community», «relationship», «participation», «communality», «society». The term, evidently related to κοινός, means «to have something in common». On the other hand the term coena (dinner) - that is precisely the «common meal» - is meaningfully related to κοινός. In fact as remembered by Giovanni Reale , the term κοινωνία takes on a technical meaning in the platonic metaphysics, by designing the relationship between ideas and perceivable realities as well as the relationship between ideas on which the dialectics is based. Moreover it’s also the term with which platonic communism is designed. More generally, in addition, the koinonia indicates the various union’s forms between human beings and, more generally, it indicates «to pool something».
The classical philologist Werner Jaeger started from this idea, when he wrote that it’s exactly on the κοινωνία that that the παιδεῖα, tha is the education, is grounded, and for the Greeks it was not an «individual matter», but, for its nature, is proper of the community and direct emanation of a human community’s living consciousness.
Also, as well as the education, philosophy was originally a «community practice» and the φιλoσοφεῖν, as Aristotle remembers, constitutively appeared as a συμφιλoσοφεῖν .

what in which the existence consists for everyone, or what someone lives for, is exactly what in which they want to spend their time with friends; because of this they drink together, some others play dice, some others do gymnastic together or hunt together or do philosophy together, and each of them spend his day doing what, among everything that characterizes the existence, love above all; in fact, since they want to live together with friends, they do that and share those activities in which, according to them, living together consists .

So, if it is true that every friendship is based on a community , and that one cannot achieve his good without being part of a family or a political community ,
In that case, it must be even said that

it is certainly absurd to make the content individual a solitary; in fact, nobody would choose to have all the goods at the risk of enjoying them alone; the human being, in fact, is a political animal and he naturally has an aptitude for living together with the others .

Human happiness, so, is necessarily shaped as sharing, as pooling and so, once again, as constitutive κοινωνία of experiences and thoughts:

So even the friend’s existence must be felt together and this will happen by living together and sharing reasonings and thoughts. In fact it seems that the life together which characterizes human beings is described exactly in these terms and not as grazing together, which is proper of beasts . Then, in conclusion, it can be said that Aristotle reminds us that, even if in some moments we are able to reach wisdom, that is the «science that owns the most excellent realities’ foundation (ὣσπερ κεφαλήν ἒχουσα ἐπιστήμη τῶν τιμιωτάτων)» or rather what is, on some level, the utmost happiness’ guarantor, it is still true that «we still remain human beings. It is a matter of exercising wisdom and justice as though we were men who have family, who find pleasure in food and good wine, who can laugh and make laugh, who love beauty and everything is human» .
This healthy and beautiful realism is a pool of values suggested by the classical world, an always topical world, because it says “true” things. That’s why we can also say, with Giacomo Leopardi, that classical world with its eternal “freshness” represents a heritage as unlimited as it’s undeniable:

Albeit over time and with the mutation of the studies and the spirit in Italy, the study of the language, and the classics, waned, several words and phrases fell into - and still falls into - disuse, but nevertheless they remain fresh and thriving, although in actual fact really ancient [...] and until the language will preserve its spirit and its nature… the patrimony of these treasures will last forever [...]. So it cannot renounce its treasures, without renouncing its nature and itself .

17. The original character of Rome’s “international law”. Characteristics of expansionism

In the most recent approach, State and war are conceived as directly depending on each other, since the two notions have evolved in this way. But it wasn’t always so: in ancient civilizations, war wasn’t merely a public matter, it wasn’t an independent political stance, clearly distinguished from peace’s concept. The State has, as its first identifying feature, a body of law, which necessarily provides rules about war in its entirety. As in every practical measure’s set, also the war provides unspoken agreements and unwritten laws, which manages the aspects that cannot be included in State’s legislation: they’re often general rules to adapt to or rules for individual cases. Garlan assumes that the relation between war and society is contained in a written and unwritten corpus of rules, which enshrines a behavior. History is historical analysis and it cannot be independent of specific context, that is space, time, social connection and distinctive personality. Although the distinction between the Roman and Greek world is not always possible, some distinctive features mark their civilizations. From a general point of view, the scholars keep being wary with war’s origin and with the way it should be studied: according to the “warmongering” view, relationships between ancient world’s states were basically warlike and hostile; a second view, the “pacifist” one is in polemical contrast to the first one: these relationships would have been both hostile and positive, so the positions between States need to be analyzed each time; lastly, according to “genetical” theory’s method, the study of war needs to start with its beginning, without neglecting the development of public institutions (obviously identifying, war and State). However, war is a general phenomenon, so the ancients didn’t relate civil war with it. With reference to what we partly said, the first experience on the relationship between law and war- about what we can talk with a fair knowledge - needs to be searched in the homerian world, although there was still no presence of a strong State, able to regulate and bind private matters. There were still no organs that were suited to manage disputes. So settling disputes could be itself a ground for war, such as every other conflict. The way to fight seems to be extremely individualistic, such as to justify the idea that there was no institution strong enough to regulate the army. The exemple that we take from the myth is the hero: a man with particular powers, who acts in the name of ideas that are not always publicly relevant. Even in the Roman world, war is something that accompanies everyday life. And as in the Greek world it’s hard to say to what extent, at the beginning, the distinction between war mongering and private disputes, inside clans and families, so with Rome we have the example of the war against Veii, which is exclusively managed by gens Fabia. War is not a moral valueless event, but often a clash between Gods, between powers, between armies. In the ancient world it has a triple meaning: religious and moral, ritual and, last of all, political. As a confirmation of this, there’s the fact that every war, before it even began, must be screened by oracles and soothsayers, who have to proclaim it lawful or not, in the sight of Gods. History takes place in a continuity of events that doesn’t allow an autonomous interpretation. Roman and Greek societies are deeply inspired by a pre-state condition, by placing in a certain field the so-called “ritual wars” that are repeated over time and are held in the same places. The most famous cases are the clashes between Argo and Sparta, and Chalcis against Eretria, which proves that ritual requests, so it can be celebrated, a temporal and spatial regularity: repetitiveness of activities in space and time; purposes’ pretext; lack of decisive battles; marked symbolism in fighting (haircut for Spartans and Argives); agonal rules; the need to form a self-identified and close-knit social group. Given the lack of sources, one might ask what suggests this interpretation: there isn’t a reason to consider these wars as preliminary to a more mature conflict, there was no intent to train the youngs in fighting and the already-said symbolic forms point to the need to mark specific social features, the recurrence of these wars over time, the need to build a firm social strength. Not for nothing, the Panhellenic Games, such as the olympics, took place with combat modules that were similar to the ritual ones. And this phenomenology does not remain delimited to private wars in the homerian world: in Greece, such as in Rome, brigandage and piracy appear on several occasions. Indeed, for Rome it was a question of making waters free, in order to enable a more and more accurate army’s management. The birth of law brings us back to the problem of State’s origin, as a guarantor of order and public disputes’ settlement. If the private ones, brigandage and piracy, are banned, it’s because the State has been strengthened. But, as these alternative forms to public justice are the legacy of a world yet unstructured in states, the same applies for some important laws’ birth. Law is possible if there’s a local identity’s accurate idea, law is exactly one of the features that makes such a citizen. One of the unwritten rules, following these disputes, takes place in the principle that an injustice enduring authorizes a claim. This right is exercised according to the injured party’s discretion and that’s not always approved by who’s required to strive. Only when the State completely became the disputes’ guarantor, these problems weren’t solved, but of course resized. Another form of unwritten law - on which the state institution will place - is the right of shipwreck.
If these unwritten rights are setting rules only for private individuals, the same may not apply for the international law’s birth. The right to initiative arises spontaneously and, somehow, is directly linked to the state institution’s beginning: it was exercised by an assembly, which setted off the beginning and the ending of the war; it had been called periodically, in order to decide how and when to continue or end the conflict. Contrary to what one may consider, the community had great significance within the State’s foreign policy. In particular, in the democratic Athen, the assembly had a critical importance. In Rome, the Centuriate Assembly had the power to establish the beginning and the end of the war. And once the international law took shape, once the State became stronger, here further problems came: the foreign policy needed envoys and diplomats, who acted as intermediaries between the different forces in the field. As we know, in the homerian period there was an oligarchic government, which was strongly tied to the aristocracy and the king. This meant that the diplomatic body was composed of ruling families’ relatives or trustees: therapontes. Into this system, still very tied to family concepts, there were no controls on diplomats. Their tasks were limited to a message’s transmission, clearly. accurately and dutifully. In the classic period, it’s possible to observe a better diplomatic body’s effectiveness: then arises the need to know other states’ willingness, with the assembly’s presence, diplomats are no more subjected to an individual (private) power, but bound by the assembly itself, to which they have to account: with plainness of speech, intelligence, wisdom. Only during the hellenistic period, diplomats return to being king’s trustees. Similar situations evolved in Rome.
In the event of victory over the enemy, the winner had the chance to use in an absolute way the conquered state’s land and people. This right’s justification is taken for granted by great thinkers: Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle and Livy say, in several passages, that the winner has the right to rule the defeated territory, as he sees fit. Places of worship and gods have the same regime. Winners could, as they saw fit, make a ritual stop, catch the Gods, move or submit them, by placing them in their pantheon. Sharing out the spoils was the problem immediately following the victory. This process varied with the times. In Greece, during the homeric age, there was a tendency to do an overall distribution of conquered goods, according to the deciding chief’s will. In the classic age, with the citizen egalitarianism’s principle, more importance was given to the goods’ fair distribution, anyway most of the loot needed to bankroll state coffers. Basically, the winners tried not to destroy conquered civilizations’ productive assets, both for respect and for taking advantage. Regarding every other part of the winner's domain activities, it had no bounds with goods and citizens, who were seen as bargaining chips: the conquered citizens could be executed, enslaved or gratuitously released.
In this context, Francesco Sini had addressed the war and peace’s issue in the Roman legal-religious system, also exploring the use that Virgil makes of some diplomatic categories, which were unique to the ancient international law and from which I’m going to start too. Regarding the hostes, the bellum and the pax, those “lecturae virgilianae'' provide strong topics to criticize some deep-rooted beliefs in Romanist doctrine: I am referring to the positions of those who theorized a permanent enmity between people and the lack of foreigner’s rights, as fundamental conditions in relationships between men. As a result, there’s the belief that, usually, ancient peoples considered war (and not also peace) as “international” relationships’ natural state, every time there was no ethnic community or there was still no conclusion of a treaty.
We cannot proceed with a doctrine’s brief, which is supporting this idea; it has established itself thanks to the support of Theodor Mommsen and Eugen Täubler, who didn’t just accept the theory on “international” relationships’ natural hostility («Der Staatsfremde gilt rechtlich als Feind. Der einzelne wie der Staat tritt erst durch eine Rechtshandlung, den Vertrag, aus dem Zustande der natürlichen Feindschaft in den der Verkehrsgemeinschaft»), he went so far as tracking down the international treaties’ origin in overcoming the primitive custom of killing the defeated enemies. On the other hand, as I have already said, in recent times an influential part of the doctrine kept considering the natural enmity and the lack of foreigners’ legal protection as the oldest roman legal experience’s typical features.
The Mommsen and his many followers’ thesis, disproved in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, has been criticized by Alfred Heus; he, on the grounds of a sources’ review, came to the conclusion that the Romans considered current a certain number of legal relationships with other people, regardless of treaties’ conclusion; in particular, he shows that: 1) there were no friendship treaties in order to end natural hostility; 2) bellum iustum was deemed necessary, even in case of war against people with whom there were no treaties; 3) in the indictio belli’s formula and ritual there was no reference to treaties’ breach. Along these lines, Francesco De Martino placed himself in 1954, publishing his volume two’s first edition of Storia della costituzione romana (eng tr. History of the Roman constitution). He radically challenged «the commonly accepted view about the original character of Rome’s international relationships>>; he reaffirmed that in 1988, in his report, dedicated to L’idea della pace a Roma dal’età arcaica al’impero (eng tr. the peace’s idea in Rome from the archaic age to the empire). Later, Pierangelo Catalano’s researches on roman supra-national system, accepted and supported by De Martino himself, had proved the virtual universality of roman legal-religious system and that this “universalistic law’s concept” is in contrast “to modern and contemporary theories, according to which war is the natural (or “primitive”) state in relationships between people. And as well noted by Karl-Heinz Ziegler in his review about Völkerrecht der römischen Republik, the objections to the legal exclusivism of natural hostility, gained acceptance from researchers. Some of these actually changed their minds; it’s the case of Paolo Frezza who, by the introduction of limits on Mommsen’s thesis, admitted the existence of inter-tribal relationships, albeit in a dialectal part, which sees the «”voluntaristic” moment deeply permeated with the “naturalistic” one».
In the same line as the thesis supported by Heus, there’s the monograph that Werner Dahlheim dedicated to the study about structure and development of international roman law, in which the rejection of natural hostility’s thesis is very clear: even though, the german scholar actually seems not completely grasping the value of ius fetiale. By analyzing the legal condition of socii nominisve Latinii and Italics, Virgilio Ilari found the same way: «today, the theory’s same assumptions appear overcome. After Heus’ criticism, the natural hostility’s idea and lack of foreign’s rights became unbearable»; also, the scholar considers overcome «the idea about international relationships’ absence, in the lack of a legal commonality, made up of historical bonds or perpetual treaties », the foundations are laid «for a so-called “voluntaristic conception” of both relationships between Rome and Italy and italic alliance’s legal nature ». Lastly, although he doesn’t specifically address the issue on his work about the juridical analysis of Alcàntara’s bronze tablet, Dieter Nörr follows the same though, when he says about Rome’s international law «die Existenz einer gemeinschaftlichen Normenordnung». It seems to me that Giorgio Luraschi and Maria Floriana Cursi move in the same direction.
Therefore, in conclusion of this topic, it seems reasonable to state that in the ancient writers what clearly emerges is the huge distance between roman conceptions about war and peace and the modern thesis about natural hostility.
In this respect, it will be quite enough to suggest a Virgil’s testimony; as far as the argument would demand a more general consideration about research potential inherent in the systemic use of the so-called literary sources by romanists.
In the poet’s instances what clearly emerges is the belief that war, far from being the human relationships’ natural condition, forms a religion and law’s breach: a painful necessity to resort to, after the Gods have found - by means of repeating over time rituals - the unfairness’ existence and men’s refusal to fix it. Regarding Virgil’s conceptions about peace and war, it’s necessary to underline their perfect coincidence with Roman priests’ legal and theological elaborations, as can be seen in the instance of words related to peace’s archaic institutes, such as amicitia, hospitium, foedus and the rules about war.
The term amicitia appears only twice in Virgil’s works (Aen. 7.546; 11.320- 322), but in both the passages the word is used by the poet in relation with foedus, with the weighty legal-religious meaning of “friendship between peoples”.
With regard to hospitium, it was noticed that, although in Virgil’s passages there are no «references to hospitium’s legal framework», nevertheless there is «a hint of the age-old religious protection», with the relevant reference to Juppiter’s function of «dare hospitibus iura».
In the use of the term foedus, «when, recounting alliances’ establishment between several ethnic groups, he doesn’t hesitate to evoke, for all of them, the typical fetial ritual and point as the one who foedera fulmine sancit». Virgil expresses, once again, his full adherence to the official terminology, to the theological concepts and to Roman priests’ case law.
And it’s precisely in priestly processing, as Francesco De Martino had shown, that «the age-old mind, the people’s religious-political calling, whose ultimate purpose is peace and friendship with foreign people» has been substantially preserved in its original integrity.

18. Mutuality’s diplomatic implementation in Rome’s foreign policy. Virgil’s testimony

Hostis apud maiores nostros is dicebatur, quem nunc peregrinum dicimus

As far as in late Republican era’s Latin, the term hostis had already acquired «le sens d’ennemi en général, de même que inimicus s’emploie pour hostilis», the ancient meaning of this world remained however well clear both in legal culture and in antiquity’s sciences. The Twelve Tables preserved its original meaning, even through the linguistic form of the First Century B.C.: the term hostis identifies generically the stranger man, as evidenced by a well-known passage of Cicero’s De officiis

Cicero, De off. 1.37: Hostis enim apud maiores nostros is dicebatur, quem nunc peregrinum dicimus. Indicant duodecim tabulae: aut status dies cum hoste itemque adversus hostem aeterna auctoritas. Quid ad hanc mansuetudinem addi potest, eum, quicum bellum geras, tam molli nomine appellare? Quamquam id nomen durius effecit iam vetustas; a peregrino enim recessit et proprie in eo, qui arma contra ferret, remansit.

It’s also related with the ancient meaning of hostis the oath’s formula of milites, that was transcribed by Aulus Gellius in the sixteenth book of “Ancient nights” and, as is well known, mentioned in the fifth book of the jurist L. Cincius’s De re militari

Aulus Gellius, Noct. Att. 16.4.3-4: Militibus autem scriptis dies praefinibatur, quo die adessent et citanti consuli responderent; deinde ita concipiebatur iusiurandum, ut adessent, his additis exceptionibus: “nisi harunce quae causa erit: funus familiare feriaeve denicales, quae non eius rei causa in eum diem conlatae sunt, quo is eo die minus ibi esset, morbus sonticus auspiciumve, quod sine piaculo praeterire non liceat, sacrificiumve anniversarium, quod recte fieri non possit, nisi ipsus eo die ibi sit, vis hostesve, status condictusve dies cum hoste; si cui eorum harunce quae causa erit, tum se postridie, quam per eas causas licebit, eo die venturum aditurumque eum, qui eum pagum, vicum, oppidumve delegerit”.
This ancient meaning also appears in another attestation in the Paul the Deacon’s epitome

Festi ep., p. 72 L.: Exesto, extra esto. Sic enim lictor in quibusdam sacris clamitabat: hostis, vinctus, mulier, virgo exesto; scilicet interesse prohibebatur.
We are looking at the formula with which the Lictor pushed away certain groups of persons from some religious ceremonies; this formula, by means of Sextus Pompeius Festus’s De verborum significatu, can be related to Verrio Flacco’s antiquary science. Even Varro, in De lingua latina, in order to expose the case of words that «aliud nunc ostendunt, aliud ante significabant», quoted as an example the term hostis Varro, De ling. Lat. 5.3

Quae ideo sunt obscuriora, quod neque omnis impositio verborum extat, quod vetustas quasdam delevit, nec quae extat sine mendo omnis imposita, nec quae recte est imposita, cuncta manet (multa enim verba lieris commutatis sunt interpolata), neque omnis origo est nostrae linguae e vernaculis verbis, et multa verba aliud nunc ostendunt, aliud ante significabant, ut hostis: nam tum eo verbo dicebant peregrinum qui suis legibus uteretur, nunc dicunt eum quem tum dicebant perduellem.
In its original meaning, still found in Plautus comedies and undoubtedly inferred from the current linguistic usage, hostis means the stranger «qui suis legibus uteretur» and to whom its is recognized the equality with Roman people’s ius

Festus, De verb. sign., v. Status dies ;: Status dies vocatur qui iudici causa est constitutus cum peregrino; eius enim generis ab antiquis hostes appellabantur, quod erant pari iure cum populo Romano, atque hostire ponebatur pro aequare.

The original meaning of hostis appears entirely different in the last century of the Republic, in conjunction with the extent of peregrin’s semantic value, which went on to design a particular legal status in the very first centuries of the Empire. In this perspective, some verses in which Virgil uses the term hostis in its strictly legal meaning appear very interesting: that is, to identify an enemy against whom there is a lawful state of war.

Vergilius, Georg. 3.30-33: Addam urbes Asiae domitas pulsumque Niphaten /fidentemque fuga Parthum versisque sagittis / et duo rapta manu diverso ex hoste tropaea bisque / triumphatas utroque ab litore gentis.

In the verses just mentioned, the legal value of hostis is made understandable by the poet through the use of the expression triumphatas gentes; because, as Aulus Gellius says, most likely the passage is taken from Massurius’ Memorialium libri:

Aulus Gellius, Noct. Att. 5.6.21: Ovandi ac non triumphandi causa est, cum aut bella non rite indicta neque cum iusto hoste gesta sunt, aut hostium nomen humile et non idoneum est, ut servorum piratarumque, aut, deditione repente facta, inpulverea, ut dici solet, incruentaque victoria obvenit.

Only if they had fought for a bellum rite indictum against enemies classified as iusti hostes, the Public Roman Law legitimised the winner magistracies for the honor of the triumph. Another meaningful Virgilian exemplum can be read in the first book of the Aeneid’s verses

Vergilius, Aen. 1.378-380: Sum pius Aeneas, raptos qui ex hoste penatis/classe veho mecum, fama super aethera notus./Italiam quaero patriam et genus ab Iove magno.

Aeneas implicitly acknowledges the enemy’s lawfulness, when he introduces himself as a deliverer ex hoste from the Penates of Troy. With the salvation of Peanates Gods, the trojan hero has averted the religious and juridical extinction of his people, threatened right by their status of enemies’ iustii et legittimi hostes. For the Roman Public Law, in the event of military victory, only the iustus hostis condition gave to the winner the chance to subdue,with full right, a city, a people and (eventually) put to an end its juridical and religious existence.

In this respect, it seems to me that the ancient deditio urbis formula - according to eminent scholars, traced on the Fetiales priests’ documents themselves - has meaningful value. Livy has preserved the prime example of Romans’ surrender of the ancient Collatia: a city without any importance already in the early Republican age, which vanished without a trace.

Livius 1.38.2: Deditosque Collatinos ita accipio eamque deditionis formulam esse; rex interrogavit: “Estisne vos legati oratoresque missi a populo Collatino ut vos populumque Collantinum dederetis?” – “Sumus.” – “Estne populus Collatinus in sua potestate?” – “Est.” – “Deditisne vos populumque Collatinum, urbem, agros, aquam, terminos, delubra, utensilia, divina humanaque omnia, in meam populique Romani dicionem?” – “Dedimus.” – “At ego recipio”.
After all, for the Roman jurists, not only the ending but also the beginning of a city’s juridical existence (principium urbis) is based on the fulfillment of a solemn juridico-religious act, the foundation rite, the details of which, based on etruscus ritus, are well-known from the Varro’s description

Varro, De ling. Lat. 5.143: Oppida condebant in Latio Etrusco ritu multi, id est iunctis bobus, tauro et vacca interiore, aratro circumagebant sulcum (hoc faciebant religionis causa die auspicato), ut fossa et muro essent muniti. Terram unde exculpserant, fossam vocabant et introrsum iactam murum. Post ea qui liebat orbis, urbis pricipium; qui quod erat post murum, postmoerium dictum, eo usque auspicia urbana finiuntur.

The etruscan processing of the city’s foundation rite (and its adoption by Rome’s religion and law) shall be dated in a fairly remote period; not without reason, Macrobius states that, in this ceremony, the vomer used for tracing the pomerial line had to be necessarily bronze. Regarding the hostes, all that remains is to relate to the Roman legal thought

D. 50.16.118 (Pomponius libro secundo ad Quintum Mucium): ‘Hostes’ hi sunt, qui nobis aut quibus nos publice bellum decrevimus: ceteri latrones aut praedones sunt

D. 50.16.234 pr. (Gaius libro secundo ad legem duodecim tabularum): Quos nos hostes appellamus, eos veteres “perduelles” appellabant, per eam adiectionem indicantes, cum quibus bellum esset.
The hostes legal status, therefore, cannot be separated from the bellum iustum persistent relevance, that is a bellum publice decretum; without this condition, the strict ius belli discipline requests that Rome’s enemies are considered as simple latrones or praedones. The consequences of this distinction are not insignificant from a law perspective, as Ulpianus testifies, presenting the case of a man qui a latronibus captus est

D. 49.15.24 (Ulpianus libro primo institutionum): Hostes sunt, quibus bellum publice populus Romanus decrevit vel ipsi populo Romano: ceteri latrunculi vel praedones appellantur. Et ideo qui a latronibus captus est, servus latronum non est, nec postliminium illi necessarium est: ab hostibus autem captus, ut puta a Germanis et Parthis, et servus est hostium et postliminio statum pristinum recuperat.
Precisely on the basis of latrones status, the jurist argues that the lawful servitude (that is covered by ius gentium) should not be applied towards the prisoner (servus latronum non est); not even in the case of release it won’t be necessary to resort to the postliminium institution.

Virgilian occurrences
A Virgil’s passage describes, maybe better than every other ancient text, the “roman” concept of peace, intended with its distinguishing features .

Vergilius, Aen. 6.847-853: Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera/(credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore voltus,/orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus/ describent radio et surgentia sidera dicent:/tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento/(hae tibi erunt artes) pacique imponere morem,/parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.
Mutuality is the first evidence that comes out from the verses, as the bilateral and peremptory feature of pax. As regards the peremptory feature, both the term mos - related to lex in the Servius’ commentary «pacis morem leges pacis» - and the verb imponere are significant. The pax observance seems to be a necessary condition for distinguishing between subiecti and superbi, by securing the lawfulness of parcere towards the first ones and the «destruction with the war » against the others. The religious and juridical reasons of imperium populi Romani universal significance lie in the peace and its protection. The peace’s bilateral feature seems to be manifest even in the explanations given by jurists and antique dealers, who emphasized the etymological connection between the term pax and the words pactio and pactum. Such is the case of the expression that Verrius Flaccus ascribes to the Augustan antique dealer Sinnius Capito

Festus, De verb. sign., p. 260 L.: Pacem a pactione condicionum putat dictam Sinnius Capito, quae utrique inter se populo sit observanda

or the one that Justinian’s compilers took from Ulpianus’ fourth book ad edictum

D. (Ulpianus libro quarto ad edictum): Pactum autem a pactione dicitur (inde etiam pacis nomen appellatum est) et est pactio duorum pluriumve in idem placitum et consensus.
This etymology, accepted by many modern linguists too, relates pax with the Indo-European root pak, alternating with pag, whence also the archaic pacere in the Twelve Tables , pacisci, pacio, pactio. Pax, a feminine action’s noun, indicates the act of drawing up an agreement, or rather the formalities needed for preserving a condition of peace; therein lies the difference between pax and its matching greek term: the latin pax plainly signifies a matter’s presupposition and precondition, rather than the matter itself.
Considering the real meaning of the pak root «to reinforce, harden» it can be assumed that originally pax had signified something physically determined: in this regard, the Marta Sordi’s proposition - from what source the archaic pax would be connected, through pax deorum, to the ancient “clavum pangere” ceremony appears stimulating: the ritual nail’s driving «dextro lateri aedis Iovis optimi maximi» attested by Livy . The juridical definition of peace, both bilateral and peremptory, completely expresses the «original sacred meaning of pax'': agreement between conflicting parties (an “act”, therefore, aimed to peace and not to the “peace condition” that does follow), that nevertheless prefigures, similarly to pax deorum, a hierarchization of relationships between contracting parties, even in the presence of “idem placitum et consensum”. In closing, drawing some final conclusions, I cannot but notice that an historical question’s analysis is nothing but the other face of a linguistic question. In the ancient world, war had been a religious and political practice that gained its own autonomy, only with the passing of thou Sands of years. Furthermore, it is managed by Greeks and Romans in the major difference between the man and the citizen, who do not identify themselves. Those who are not members of a community that acknowledges its citizen’s rights, are marginalized as defenseless individuals. The citizen is directly qualified by the rights he has in his polis, in his home state: this remains the same both in wartime and peacetime. Sure is that, as recently Gian Luca Gregori noticed, Rome had taken, from the Mediterranean’s older forms, a mutuality’s ethics able to justify the very close bond, mainly juridical, between war and peace, or rather between the military victory and the paci imponere morem, which had to stand for the main point of peaceful and universalistic aptitude pursued by the populus Romanus, even through an history of incessant warfare.


War as breach in the natural mutuality between peoples
In order to reconstruct a more accurate Roman conception of war, Virgil's testimony assumes, once again, a significant relevance. Although they are negatively characterized, as mentioned above, the almost two hundred occurrences of bellum are interesting to make arguments on their juridical and religious peculiarities. In these one it’s possible to notice rituals, perfectly adhering to roman priests’ theology and case law, albeit with some anachronism: so much so that the memory of the original duellum remained only in the works of scholars and antique dealers, who were keepers of latin language’s remaining archaic forms. The ancient term duellum kept being used in solemn formulas of the more conservative priestly language: it should be enough to read the acta about Augustus’ Ludi saeculares and that ones which were celebrated by Septimius Severus, to see that the concepts of war and peace were still expressed by priests in an archaic manner with duellum and domus. But, even among the antique dealers, about the bellum word’s etymology, the arguments are contradictory: this applies both for the bellum a belius interpretation by Festus (and Verrius Flaccus), attested by Paul the Deacon, and for the procedure (bellum a nulla re bella) reported by Servius. However, in the first century B.C current meaning, bellum meant both a military conflict between hostes - defined by specific religious and legal rules - and the period required to end the hostilities, in antithesis to peacetime.
In the end, in the relationship between law and war, it’s safe to assume that war in the ancient world was an event both religious and political: 1) This has led to the two elements getting together in a specific combination. Some religious practices were essential for the war and, without them, fighting would have not been possible. At every stage, identified as such, matched specific rites. First of all, it was necessary that propitiatory rites were done, in order to verify the war’s suitability or not.
2) Valid reasons were needed to wage war, given that if it had been unfair, it would be punished, not necessarily by the enemies, but by the gods. Once again, the religious topic mixes with the political one: hence the need for a casus belli, that was reason enough for conflict. The “lawful” war cases were several: invocation for Gods’ defense (wickedness and injustice towards a god), invocation for a damage received by the community (attack on land, people), invocation for allies’ defense (attack on these ones, invasion, violated allies’ interests). As we can see, these reasons cover a broad range of possibilities, all capable of turning to the conquest more than to the defense, focused on the concept of damage and retaliation, of which I have spoken several times.
3) If a people wanted to join the war with a casus belli, then the messengers were sent. They had to place the State’s demands and listen to the enemies’ statements. They demanded to settle old scores. However, it could happen that fighting took place, without waging war diplomatically.
4) After the messengers returned (if the demands had not been fulfilled) they proceed with the rites that were subsequent to the declaration of war: they were of different kind and mainly specific for the city, an example was making a lamb cross the borders, because it represented the way the enemy would get at the end of the battle. Sometimes, on such occasions, human sacrifice was practiced. In Rome, the cult that preceded the fight was entrusted to fetials. They had to perform a complicated ritual and, with its outcome, they could start with war operations. Later, the ritual’s value faded, also because the fetials acted only when the city’s borders were at stake. When the greatness of Rome became widespread, the ritual lost its purpose and senators were delegated to carry out different, simpler and less ideological events.
5) War wasn’t necessarily one ongoing event, it could be interrupted for a variable period. They could suspend it for several reasons and in different forms: break, treaty and surrender.
6) The underlying problem about the treaties, breaks and agreements’ diplomacy is that, if they wanted it, deals could be broken very easily, without consequences on the one who broke the deal. Nevertheless, as we know, only a few violations happened. It’s true that, on one hand, the presence of hostages setted limits but, especially in Greece, they were chosen in the lowest social classes, so their possible loss would not have caused problems. And once again the religious idea is the background: the oaths were accompanied by specific rites and, as such, they made a large impact on ancient man’s mindset, if it’s true that Numa Pompilus established the fides cult in 274 B.C.
7) Typically, the winner tended to not destroy the productive assets and he tried to create a certain production activity on the conquered ground. Legally, war was always conceived by Roman as a traumatic breaking in the people’s natural relationships: as Francesco De Martino says «it therefore needed a justification, it had to be bellum iustum piumque, that is a just cause». The awareness that the warfare put the miles in contact to something “unholy” and that, in any case, the unnecessary use of violence was in danger to cause divine wrath, pushed Rome - which regarded itself as the most religious-minded in the humankind (religione, id est cultu deorum, multo superiores) - to worry, since ancient time, about including in the fas field even the war itself; by using theoretical tools offered by the thoughts of their sacerdotes. Therefore, the formulas of ius fetiale and ius pontificium were worked out with main function of setting soldier-citizens free from the fear of bloodshed, of helping them with religion and overcoming the terror facing the furor, a sign of holding that takes men’s freedom and, lastly, delivering them from the concern to commit God’s unwelcomed actions. Even the time signature was setted following what Bayet defined «le rythme sacral de la guerre». Indeed, we need to understand in this respect the march and october festivals on the Roman Ancient Calendar; they were related to war activities’ beginning and ending, so they were actual «rites saisonniers de sacralisation et désacralisation militaires».
In this way, we can explain the reasons behind the religious and juridical extreme caution, that surrounded the whole subject of war by individuals who, as Cato warns, were allowed to fight only as milites.

Cicero, De off. 1.36-37: [Popilius imperator tenebat provinciam in cuius exercitu Catonis filius tiro militabat cum autem Popilio videretur unam dimittere legionem Catonis quoque filium qui in eadem legione militabat dimisit. Sed cum amore pugnandi in exercitu remansisset Cato ad Popilium scripsit ut si eum patitur in exercitu remanere secundo eum obliget militiae sacramento quia priore amisso iure cum hostibus pugnare non poterat. Adeo summa erat observatio in bello movendo]. Marci quidem Catonis senis est epistula ad Marcum filium in qua scribit se audisse eum missum factum esse a consule cum in Macedonia bello Persico miles esset. Monet igitur ut caveat ne proelium ineat; negat enim ius esse, qui miles non sit, cum hoste pugnare.

Therefore, as Virgil makes Aeneas detect, the subject of war belongs to the nefas field, because of its death’s devastating consequences.

Vergilius, Aen. 2.717-720: Tu, genitor, cape sacra manu patriosque penatis;/me, bello e tanto digressum et caede recenti,/attrectare nefas, donec me flumine vivo/ abluero

In the verses above, the poet seems to refer, more than to a general ritual purification, to the priests’ ablutions, maybe with the purpose of giving greater solemnity or for better emphasizing Aeneas’ priestly role: the use of the verb attrectare reflects this, because it takes on positive meaning only if it’s referred to sacerdotes populi Romani, instead if it’s used for any other community member it takes on the negative meaning of «defiling». Therefore, one couldn’t blame a soldier killing someone in the battle, actually the fact was considered useful and even honorable; nevertheless, for the religion the miles becomes impiatus, with the resulting need to purify. These are the religious reasons due to which soldiers, returning from the battle, entered the city bringing laurel branches; there are such reasons behind the armilustrium ceremony, that was being celebrated on the 19th october, as a general purification for the army, at the end of war season. The remarks exposed till now explain the religious casuistry with which sacerdotes Fetiales, as well as law and political theorists, decided what kind of war could be lawfully waged: that is, the ones that had the bellum iustum properties. The ancient records, regarding the bellum iustum definition, doesn’t seem to be aligned to an abstract morality’s principles, they rather relate, as in Varro’s case, to some compliance assessments with ius fetiale religious and ritual field.

Varro, De ling. Lat. 5.86: Fetiales, quod fidei publicae inter populos praeerant: nam per hos fiebat ut iustum conciperetur bellum, et inde desitum, ut foedere fides pacis constitueretur. Ex his mittebantur, ante quam conciperetur, qui res repeterent, et per hos etiam nunc fit foedus, quod fidus Ennius scribit dictum.

In addition, the Isidore of Seville’s definition claims to rerum repetitio

Isidorus, Orig. 18.1.2: Iustum bellum est, quod ex edicto geritur de rebus repetitis aut propulsandorum hostium causa; At the same time, though it refers to a non-Roman environment, the bellum iustum concept enunciated by Livy appears significantly based on necessitas, source of ius for roman jurists

Livius 9.1.10: Iustum est bellum, Samnites, quibus necessarium, et pia arma quibus nulla nisi in armis reliquitur spes.
After all, a substantial part of Greek and Roman culture in the Second and First centuries B.C challenged the bellum iustum concept, by theorizing the mismatch between bellum and iustitia. This matter seems to be deeply connected to the historical-juridical thinking about the Roman “global” hegemony’s lawfulness; but, at the same time, it’s part of the debate on the natural law theories, within the framework of Greek and Roman philosophical tradition . Cicero, in the Lucius Furius Philus’ speech, by his own admission based on Carneades’ teaching, uses the war’s example to explain quantum ab iustitia recedat utilitas:

Cicero, De re publ. 3.20: Cur enim per omnes populos diversa et varia iura sunt condita, nisi quod una quaeque gens id sibi sanxit, quod putavit rebus suis utile? Quantum autem ab iustitia recedat utilitas, populus ipse Romanus docet, qui per fetiales bella indicendo et legitime iniurias faciendo semperque aliena cupiendo atque rapiendo possessionem sibi totius orbis comparavit
Among the ancient writers, the one that had shown the largest interest in the “lawful war” definition was, undoubtedly, Cicero. In the impossibility to conduct an accurate examination of text references, it will be enough to discuss two important passages, taken from the De re publica, which describes some bellum iustum kinds, although they are negatively shaped, by qualifying war as wrongful and unholy.
Cicero, De re publ. 2.31: [Tullus Hostilius] cuius excellens in re militari gloria magnae que extiterunt res bellicae, fecitque idem et saepsit de manubis comitium et curiam, constituitque ius quo bella indicerentur, quod per se iustissime inventum sanxit fetiali religione, ut omne bellum quod denuntiatum indictumque non esset,

Cicero, De re publ. 3.35: Illa iniusta bella sunt quae sunt sine causa suscepta. Nam extra ulciscendi aut propulsandorum hostium causa bellum geri iustum nullum potest. id iniustum esse atque inpium iudicaretur.
According to Cicero the bellum, in order to be deemed iustum, needs therefore, procedural and substantive requests. The first ones results from the proper observance of ius fetiale rituals and procedures; the precept ascribed to the King Tullus Hostilius can be positively turned: «ut omne bellum denuntiatum indictum esset». The substantive requests had to consist of some effectively identifiable reasons: objectively recognizable, then, as such by the gods and by the men.
In brief, while principle of «illa iniusta bella sunt quae sunt sine causa suscepta» curbs Rome’s greed and arbitrariness, at the same time it ensures the universal imperium’s religious legitimacy.

Nota bene:
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