Overview[ edit ] Xenia consists of two basic rules: The respect from host to guest. It is not polite to ask questions until the guest has finished the meal provided to them.
In ancient times its scattered city-states each had their own dialects and customs. As seafaring peoples constantly engaged in trade among themselves and with outsiders, Greeks were inevitably in regular contact with strangers, and were themselves in situations where they were strangers.
To maintain order and civility between Greeks from various regions, Greek hospitality was not just a kindness. It was an unspoken cultural law that preserved order for a people who were simultaneously countrymen and strangers.
Deep Roots in Ancient Greece The concept of Greek hospitality was so deeply embedded in ancient culture that it took the form of a code of conduct.
Scholars also detect a religious underpinning to this code of social conduct. In ancient Greece, it was believed that any stranger might be a god in disguise checking up on mortals.
But xenia also required guests to observe certain precepts. According to legend, even an event as momentous as the Trojan War began because of a guest's violation of xenia.
Defining The Principles of Xenia In Greece, there were specific principles of xenia that applied to both guest and host. For example, the host was forbidden to ask any initial questions of a guest even if they were complete strangers.
Moreover, the host was expected to offer his guest refreshments, a bath and clean clothes. The guest was expected to be polite and to abstain from making inconvenient requests.
The host particularly was expected to give a gift to the guest in order to acknowledge the honor of hosting duties.In The Odyssey, Homer suggests that xenia is a very important feature of ancient Greece.
Xenia is a kind of code of moral conduct for hospitality. For example, In The Odyssey there are times when reciprocation is given when traveling. Furthermore, the Greek people show xenia because Zeus demands hospitality from humans.
We will write [ ]. In ancient Greece, xenia meant “the way you treat strangers or foreigners”. It comes from a very old Proto-Indo-European (Yamnaya) word that means “stranger” but also “guest” and “host” and “foreigner” and sometimes “enemy”.
Xenia (Greek: ξενία, translit. xenía, meaning "guest-friendship") is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing guest-friendship. As anyone can see, the people from ancient Greece were very hospitable.
It is possible, however, that this Greek hospitality comes from the fear of the gods, and not only from pure politeness. It is possible, however, that this Greek hospitality comes from the fear of the gods, and not only from pure politeness.
Xenia is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home and/or associates of the person bestowing guest-friendship. 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.