Eager to understand friendship’s present bill of health in modern culture, scholars have sought to better know its past, to assess how certain kinds of amity have fared in specific past environments.1 Perhaps prompted by Foucault, these histories have often been framed in terms of loss, with scholars frequently concurring that friendship in the West seems to become, from the end of antiquity onward, gradually less public, less expressive, and less acceptably part of ethical and political life. With these frameworks established, though by no means uncontested, the study of friendship has in many ways become oriented toward the ferreting out of causes. When and where do we see harm to friendship as a (public, affective, etc.) social form? What forces can we find as historical culprits for its supposed fading?