For example, the host was forbidden to ask any initial questions of a guest even if they were complete strangers. The men provide clothing, sacrifice with them, and share a meal before the Argonauts leave the island in the morning. Personal names are a different story. Next, the Cyclops offers to provide Odysseus a guest-gift, but it ends up being a promise to eat Odysseus last. The process for the reception of strangers practiced by the Phaeacians has enabled Odysseus to earn his recognition without the help of any external mark of identity. In Book One, Telemachus shows xenia to the disguised Athena by graciously welcoming her into his own home and offering her food. Those who provided hospitality to Odysseus, meanwhile, are spared.
New York: The Viking Press, 1954. The differentiation between the relationships is that the Greek gods have human-like behavior and do not necessarily have a need for love from humans while the relationship between God and humans is both a choice and a test of loyalty… 760 Words 4 Pages The concept of guest hospitality is extremely important in ancient Greece. Fortunately, an analysis of the episodes in the epic where the guest-host relationship is explored reveals that there is a formula for its development, and that there are certain elements of hospitality necessary for a guest to be properly received. Instead of turning him out as the enemy, Achilles abides by the rules of xenia and allows him to stay. As was seen by the episode with the Cyclops, inhospitality leads to the concealment of identity and punishment.
He tells the Cyclops what the customs of xenia are and tells him that he and his men are suppliants, therefore presenting the Cyclops with the opportunity to provide them with protection and transport, an element of hospitality present in the other episodes. Hospitality, then, is connected with the revelation of his identity. 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. Thus, to avoid angering a possible God in disguise, they thought it wise to treat all guests with the courtesy and respect that you would bestow on a heavenly being. Where have your rovings forced you? Paris ignored the mutualistic respect that is supposed to be observed between parties involved and he stole from his host The Greek myth I shall elaborate on is that of Atreus and his twin brother Thyestes. Elizabeth Vandiver, recorded and distributed by. For example, in Book 2, the King of Bebrykians, , makes the Argonauts fight to be able to leave.
The Phaeacians, and in particular , were famed for their immaculate application of xenia, as the princess and her maids offered to bathe Odysseus and then led him to the palace to be fed and entertained. In the Iliad The described in the of resulted from a violation of xenia. It also serves as a warning to wicked people, reminding them that the guest they refuse could be a god in disguise who might punish them later. In the Odyssey, Calypso, a fair goddess, had wanted to keep Odysseus in her cavern as her husband, but he refused. Evidence that Xenia was integral to Greek society can be found in the fact that Zeus, the king of the Gods, was also portrayed as the God of Xenia. My Danish teacher Jasper went to Boston in the late 80s.
Odysseus makes this petition because of Polyphemus failure to uphold his role as host in the guest-host relationship, having deviated from the formula. Moreover, the host was expected to offer his guest refreshments, a bath and clean clothes. She was born in 291 in the town of Kalamata, in the Peloponnese region of Greece, and was raised with an abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Weaver, Plots of Epiphany: Prison-Escape in Acts of the Apostles Walter de Gruyter, 2004 , p. It is the responsibility of the host to provide for his guest before anything is to proceed, despite not even knowing the identity or intentions of the stranger. Wotan, supreme god and father of Siegmund, refuses at first but then is forced to agree that his son must die.
Odysseus reveals his identity explicitly to Telemachus early on in his homecoming, but maintains his disguise around him while at his home. Both the Odyssey and the Iliad are filled with episodes in which xenia is either honored or ignored and the subsequent consequences are notable. Accordingly, the suitors are the ones who fail to recognize Odysseus in any manner until a weapon is in his hands, and are killed. The rituals of hospitality created and expressed a reciprocal relationship between guest and host expressed in both material benefits as well as non-material ones. And last but not least, during the sack of Troy, Antenor and his family were spared as he offered hospitality to Odysseus and Menelaos when they had come as ambassadors to ask the Trojans to return Helen. From this point forth, Odysseus asserts himself more forcefully, asking for a song to be played about the Trojan War, in which he had a decisive role.
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. Thus, referring to Odysseus as a guest, she makes it clear that a stranger will be treated hospitably by Telemachus and her and therefore will have access to the bow. While this is not a traditional example of xenia, it does demonstrate the power of friendship in the Greek culture. He even moves her chair away from the suitors who are rude. By providing him the bath, an element of hospitality, Penelope also unintentionally leads to the premature revelation of his identity to the maid Eurycleia, who spots his scar. He may be offered a bath and fresh clothes. Indeed, while originating from mythical traditions, xenia would very much become a standard practice throughout much if not, all of Greece as customarily proper in the affair of men interacting with men as well as men interacting with the Gods.
Disguise and Recognition in The Odyssey. She provides him with food, a bath, and clothes, transforming his appearance from a naked, brutish state back into that of a civilized man. The Greek god Zeus is sometimes called Zeus Xenios in his role as a protector of travelers. In short, the guests not only make unreasonable, burdensome requests that were impolite for guests but they do so with the assumption the host himself is no longer alive. This violent ending an be seen as retribution for an egregious abuse of xenia or conversely, a violation of its very precepts. Accepting the disguised Odysseus as guest becomes tantamount to accepting his return, rejecting him brings about its negative consequences.