The importance of the guest host relationships in homers the odyssey

In General Ramblings Xenia, the Greek concept of hospitality and the guest-host relationship, was, according to M.

The importance of the guest host relationships in homers the odyssey

It deals with concepts of hospitality in The Odyssey. The guidelines for this paper are as follows: What are the basic expectations that come with proper xenia? Why is xenia important to civilization?

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What does it represent or establish in the minds of people of ancient Greece? Introduction Odysseus and Athena One of the most important themes in The Odyssey is the concept of xenia, which is the old Greek word for hospitality.

In modern times, hospitality is something we rarely think of, and the first thing that comes to mind is the hotel industry, but in ancient Greece, xenia was not about hotels, or just about etiquette, it was a way of life with many benefits in a world that was still mostly savage.

Xenia was more than just being polite to strangers. It was a set of rules and customs that defined the guest-host relationship between two individuals, two groups of people, or an individual and a group Wilson Some basic rules of this relationship were that the guest could not insult the host, make demands, or refuse xenia.

Additionally, the host could not insult the guest, fail to protect the guest, or fail to be as hospitable as possible. It was also customary for gifts to be given to the guest, or for a gift exchange to be conducted between guest-friends Wilson The custom was for the guest to take shelter in a home that fit his social standing, so you would not normally see a beggar looking for hand-outs at the palace of a king, or a noble seeking xenia from a commoner under, ideal circumstances at least.

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This custom of xenia also carried a burden of trust, where both the host and guest would have to rely on custom in regards to personal safety.

This trust was reinforced by both fear of word getting out that the host had provided improper xenia, and fear of retribution by the gods Biggs, Joseph and Bennet, Molliesince one never knew when a traveller might actually be a god in disguise, come to test the level of your xenia.

All travellers were seen as sent by Zeus and under his protection Homerso giving proper xenia was also a way of showing reverence for the gods, especially Zeus in the form of Zeus Xenios.

The story relies so heavily on concepts of xenia that The Odyssey could not have been written without it in mind. Odysseus and Nausikaa Nausikaa and her handmaids with Odysseus in the background. One of the best examples of good xenia in The Odyssey is that of Nausikaa Homer —a princess on the island of the Phaiakians.

Odysseus had been shipwrecked and took refuge under a bush for the night. Late the next morning, he woke up to the sound of girls screaming while at play with a ball they had accidentally kicked into a nearby stream. Seeing an opportunity for help, he decided to approach them. Emerging from the bushes, rough, ragged, crusted with dried seawater and covered only by an olive branch, he approached Nausikaa and her maids-in-waiting.

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She then directed her maids to take him to the river and bathe him, providing him with oils to rub onto his skin.

She also offered him food and drink. These are all examples of good xenia to a stranger. She took care of his needs and then, afterwards, she even offered a parting gift: She told him how best to approach her parents and how best to win them over, so he would have a good chance of receiving the help he needed to get home.

The Odyssey The Guest-Host Relationship

Odysseus, for his part, also kept up his side of the obligations of xenia. Also, because of their remote location, the Phaikians might have become complacent. This incident caused them to become more wary of helping strangers Homerwhich could be a good thing for them, especially in a speculative future where other, less hospitable, groups of people move into their area.

Even though Odysseus appeared to be a homeless, wandering beggar, he was still received well by Eumaios. He was immediately invited in for food and drink: When evening came, Eumaios made a bed for Odysseus and even offered him his own cloak to keep him warm during the night.

Odysseus continued to stay with Eumaios for multiple days, but at no point did Eumaios ever insist that he leave. He offered as much hospitality as he could to Odysseus, trusting in the customs of xenia that Odysseus would make no unreasonable demands or overstay his welcome.

For his part, Odysseus made no demands of Eumaios and did not threaten or insult him, despite his humble offerings. Because Eumaios treated Odysseus to good xenia, and proved his continuing loyalty to him during the conversations they had while Odysseus was in the guise of a beggar, his life was spared when Odysseus slaughtered the servants who had turned against him and against his house.

Odysseus had been gone for nearly 15 years when the suitors showed up. There had been no solid news of him, and no one had any idea if he were alive or dead. What makes their behavior bad xenia is the way they went about it.

They imposed themselves on the household, devouring the livestock, consuming the wine, insulting their host, Telemakhos, and refused to leave when their presence and intentions toward Penelope were obviously not wanted. Since Odysseus was, in fact, still alive and master of his house, all of these transgressions of xenia can be seen as transgressions of xenia against Odysseus.In the Odyssey.

Xenia is an important theme in Homer's The Odyssey. Every household in the epic is seen alongside xenia. Odysseus' house is inhabited by suitors with demands beyond the bounds of xenia.

Menelaus and Nestor's houses are . It was a set of rules and customs that defined the guest-host relationship between two individuals, two groups of people, or an individual and a group (Wilson ).

Some basic rules of this relationship were that the guest could not insult the host. Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and The proper guest-host relationship is where the host welcomes the guest warmly, and provides whatever the guest needs.

For example a host may have to provide food, hospitality, or even information about a long lost father. Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin The Guest-host relationship in Homer's Odyssey In The Odyssey, Homer uses guest-host relationships as an ethical norm against which behavior is measured.

The importance of the guest host relationships in homers the odyssey

When the ritual is preformed correctly by guest-host, good results ensue. In contrast, the violations of this ethical norm results in misfortune.

Xenia (Greek) - Wikipedia