It is shown mostly as good and bad Xenia. In the role of the host, the suitors failed to provide proper xenia by insulting their guest, Odysseus, by injuring him instead of protecting him from harm, and by not being as hospitable as possible. 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. Homer also uses Xenia as a literary device in the Odyssey. The Odyssey by Homer may be viewed as a study in the laws of hospitality and is full of examples of both good and bad xenia, where good xenia is rewarded and bad xenia is punished. The father of the Cyclops, Poseidon, is only upset by the event because it was his son who was hurt.
He stood beside her and took her by the right hand, and relieved her of the bronze spear, and spoke to her and addressed her in winged words: 'Welcome, stranger. Disguise and Recognition in The Odyssey. Xenia imposed moral regulations in ancient. It was also customary for gifts to be given to the guest, or for a gift exchange to be conducted between guest-friends. Strange, but supposedly nothing too untoward yet. But what makes their behavior bad xenia is the way they went about it.
It was believed that the gods wanted them to show hospitality to anyone who showed up at their homes. Throughout the story, bad xenia is punished and good xenia brings rewards to those who offer it. The many themes of this epic mainly focus around the Greek hero Odysseus however in my essay I will attempt to analyze hospitality. The main item of hospitality is of course a meal. Homer, a poet in those times, taught the guidelines of Ancient Greek society in his famous work, The Odyssey.
The ancient cultural value of Xenia is a religious and social accept that has to do with the relationship between guest and hosts. At Ithaca Odysseus practices the same caution, but under a disguise and pseudonym. So even here; Telemachus is showing more signs of good Xenia, since of course Mentes is a stranger to him. Strangely, the Phaeacians get punished almost for being good hosts — for escorting their stranded guest home. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1987.
Telemachus is feasted by Nestor, questioned on his identity, given a guest-gift, provided a bath and clothed by a female host, and finally provided transportation. In the end it proves to be a beneficial situation for them both. She gives Odysseus food, drink, she even sleeps with him all the time with Circe that was a plus , but the crucial point is that she delays his homecoming too. Accordingly, the suitors are the ones who fail to recognize Odysseus in any manner until a weapon is in his hands, and are killed. Odysseus reveals his identity explicitly to Telemachus early on in his homecoming, but maintains his disguise around him while at his home. In any other situation, any other guest scene, this would be a terrible act for a guest to commit — but their lives are more than threatened, so kind of justifiable. 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.
Those shown to disregard the rules of Xenia often meet violent ends, and in turn, those shown to show good Xenia reap the benefits of this. Even the Gods are shown to respect Xenia rules, for example in Book 5 when Calypso gives hospitality to Hermes. The next most important staples of the society were the concepts of braver, pride, and hospitality, or Xenia. Strangers — friends, who are you? 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, since one never knew when a traveller might actually be a god in disguise for example, in book 1 when Athene disguises herself as Mentes and receives hospitality from Telemachus , come to test the level of your xenia. Xenia was more than just being polite to strangers.
If they did, it was shown as negative xenia. If either the host or the guest was to break any rule set by Xenia, there would be severe penalties dealt by Zeus and also by society Wikipedia. He utilizes ideal qualities such as brute strength, he is able to persevere despite desires to give up, he is helped by gods and mortals, and he regains his glory and power at the end. 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, since one never knew when a traveller might actually be a god in disguise, come to test the level of your xenia. Thus, Alcinous is failing to provide the main item of hospitality. After the meal, not before, comes the question: who are you? The significance in this is that Nestor took a break from his celebration in order to greet two people, who he had not an inkling of the identities of.
Xenia ξενία , the Ancient Greek value of hospitality and guest-friendship patroned by Zeus, no less! California Studies in Classical Antiquity 5 1972 : 1-19. The next most important staples of the society were the concepts of braver, pride, and hospitality, or Xenia. Xenia is presented as a means of diplomacy as well as a means of appeasing the Gods, and serves to strengthen, or indeed worsen, the relationship between host and guest. During the time period of The Odyssey, the Greeks considered hospitality a major key of a well civilized society. This was his reaction when he woke up on the island of Skheria and heard Nausikaa and her maids screaming while playing with their ball.