Letter from the Editor
I am delighted to share with you the inaugural issue of Liber, Phillips Exeter Academy’s student-run classics magazine. Our endeavor, since the Academy’s Publications Committee approved the proposal for Liber last fall, has finally come to fruition.
The theme of this issue is friendship. As I was finishing up the proposal for Liber last summer, the National Junior Classical League announced the theme of its 2018 Convention as friendship with the quote, “ego vos hortari tantum possum ut amicitiam omnibus rebus humanis anteponatis” (I urge you all, as much as I am able, to place friendship before all human matters), written by Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero in De Amicitia (On Friendship). The Liber board, which had just been formed at the time, unanimously agreed to follow Cicero’s advice—to put friendship first. After all, it was friendship that had brought us together to launch Liber.
In this issue, you will find various articles on the friendships of classical antiquity. We have examined friendships in ancient literature, such as Cicero’s De Amicitia and Epistulae ad Atticum (Letters to Atticus), Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid, Catullus’s and Horace’s carmina (lyric poems), Euripides’s play Orestes, and Plautus’s Captivi. We have dug into friendships depicted on epitaphs and vase paintings. You will read about us reliving Roman politicians’ friendships in history class and building our own friendships through our classics club. I hope you will enjoy listening to our recordings of Aesop’s fables in Ancient Greek and Latin, Shijing from ancient China in Chinese and Latin, and Bob Dylan’s lyrics in Latin.
I cannot thank our contributors enough, who believed in Liber and generously shared their work with us when Liber was still a concept, not a reality. I am grateful to our adviser, Mr. Langford, for his ceaseless advice and assistance even during late-night meetings on weekends. I am indebted to our board for making the vision of Liber come alive as well as for the camaraderie that we have formed along the way. I also have not forgotten our old friends, James Fortin, Alexis Lee, and Alice Little, and our old advisers, Mr. Hartnett and Mr. Unger, who helped us lay the foundation for Liber. Last but not least, I would like to thank Ms. Lembo, Director of Student Activities, and Phillips Exeter Academy for generously supporting Liber.
Friendship applies to anyone, anywhere, anytime—young or old, west or east, ancient or modern, and so on. I hope that our issue on friendship gives you a chance to think about your friends and friendships.
Vale and Χαῖρε,