Amicitias cum cura age: Treat friendships with care

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar is a ghost and writer from ancient Rome. Quinn Casey, his ghost writer, is an executive editor on the Record editorial board.

When the Record asked if I would write an op-ed, I immediately agreed. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the spotlight, but I’m sick of everyone defining me by one day in my life. Well, it’s been 2,067 years since that fateful day in March, so I’ve had time to reflect on the lessons it taught me and how it changed my life forever.

No, like, literally forever — I died. 

For the few of you who are unfamiliar with my story, I’ll provide a brief introduction. My name was — scratch that — is Julius Caesar, but my friends call me Caesar. I led the Roman armies in the Gallic Wars before I ruled the Roman empire as dictator. My leadership was cut short when a group of senators, one of which was my “friend,” assassinated me on March 15, 44 BC. Since then, most people associate the Ides of March, or March 15, with my death. It wasn’t much of a holiday when I was alive. Ides was simply an ancient marker for the first new moon of a month.

I’m not surprised that they rebranded it for me. People loved me back then, so it makes sense that they’ve continued to honor me. 

Some say I was “too ambitious” or “tyrannical,” but did Williams Shakespeare write a play about them? Yeah, that’s what I thought. 

Still, you may be wondering how I am writing this if I’m dead. To that I say, have you seen ChatGPT? Anything is possible nowadays! Artificial intelligence, however, will never understand the exclusively human phenomenon at the center of this op-ed: friendship. 

Friendship is a complex aspect of the human experience because it is constantly evolving. For many people, friends change with the seasons. Perhaps your gladiator training schedule brings you closer to a new friend, while it simultaneously pulls you away from another. At the same time, there are certain relationships that are unbreakable — the kind that feel meant to be. Regardless of how much time passes on the Julian calendar, a special friendship does not falter.

It is admittedly difficult to understand how or why certain friendships remain while others decay, but I believe trust is a valuable component in maintaining friendship. I mean, do you want a friend who stabs you in the back? Or stabs you at all? (You don’t.) Personally, I develop trust for an individual when I spend more time with them. It sounds simple enough, but time contributes to the development of trust. Friends that you can trust with your darkest secrets (id est, I have a crush on Brutus) take on a greater importance than those you only see at the Colosseum. In this way, trust determines the depth of the friendship and its meaning in your life.

Likewise, friendships require energy not only to develop trust, but also to strengthen communication. It is most beneficial for both parties when an individual can express their emotions and expect their concerns to be heard. “Hey, why do you exclude me when all of the senators hang out?” or “What’s up bro, can you refrain from stabbing me?” 

Communication is key! In a way, communication actively nurtures trust and, thus, the bond of friendship. While trust develops the relationship, communication maintains it. 

In a highly driven environment, it can be difficult to find time to work on friendships. Your studies of Latin — I hope they still teach that — take up so much time, and for good reason. You’re developing an understanding of the greater world. It is important, however, to step away from chariot racing — again, still a thing? — and spend time with friends. Go on adventures. Visit the local volcano! If that’s not your thing, have a casual wine night with friends and analyze the latest gossip from the thermae. Put simply, quality time away from the stress of your immediate environment contributes to the positive development of friendships. 

Look, Rome wasn’t built in a day — and neither is a valuable friendship. It takes a balance of trust, communication, and energy to develop a friendship that feels meaningful. As the first half of your semester comes to an end and you look toward the final weeks of the school year, care for your friends. Many of the relationships formed during this period of life will stick with you, so it is wise to give them the care and attention they deserve. 

Oh, and one more thing. When a seer tells you to “beware the Ides of March,” LISTEN TO THEM.

Quinn Casey ’25 is from Scranton, Pa.