Although its origin is controversial, amicitia was one of the most significant instruments of Roman foreign relations. Several scholars have supported the idea that amicitia was the outcome of a previous international treaty, which aimed at guaranteeing military neutrality. However, the sources do not provide a clear view of how friendship was categorised within the legal system of the Romans. The historical cases of friendship that Rome had with Rhodes, Attalus I and Antiochus III, show that, already in the mid-Republic amicitia was an independent instrument to regulate foreign relations. In order to exist, friendship did not need to be connected to a previous treaty. Nonetheless, amicitia was characterised by juridical instability. The legal stability of foreign relations was the reason why the Romans ratified friendship by means of a specific category of treaty, namely foedus amicitiae causa. As a consequence, when it was connected to a foedus, amicitia provided content to the inter-community agreement. Nevertheless, the fact that a previous amicitia could be the background of a following foedus did not exclude the chance that a foedus could be made to create amicitia as well.