The Generosity Of Xenia In Ancient Greece

865 Words4 Pages
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 [XENIA]. Xenia is also a way of life, in Ancient Greece, people are being hospitable all the time. Some people are being hospitable because this is the right thing to do and they also enjoy doing this, also being generous made them look good. The second reason for doing this is because people believe that Zeus was the protector of guests. “It 's wrong, my friend, to send any stranger packing— even one who arrives in worse shape than you. Every stranger and beggar come from Zeus…” [Page 757 lines 63-66, Book 14].
As most people acknowledge, the host could not insult the guest, fail to protect the guest, or fail to be as hospitable as possible. The guest could not insult the host, make demands, or refuse xenia. It was also customary for gifts to be given to the guest, or for a gift exchange to be conducted between guest-friends [Wilson 370].
A good host would welcome strangers into the home; offer them food, drink, and a bath; give up the most comfortable chair for them; not ask them any questions until they are satisfied and comfortable, and sometimes give them
…show more content…
The suitors are wasting resources, insulting the hosts (Telemachus), bringing annoyance toward the hosts. The suitors were constantly harassing Penelope (Telemachus’ mother), wanting to marry her, even though Penelope shows absolutely no interests in them. “Others who go to court a gentlewoman, daughter of a rich house, if they are rivals, bring their own beeves and sheep along; her friends ought to be feasted, gifts are due to her; would any dare to live at her expense?” [The Odyssey]. Penelope also reminded the suitor that they have commandeered this house. Besides all these, the suitors also plan to kill Telemachus when the public opinion is shifting toward
Open Document