It is now more than ever before that the ide ofhospitalityor“philoxenia”as devised through the old Greeks take away on an added meaning. As thecoronavirusfrenzy subsides and Greece opens up up to the world once again welcome travelers from far and wide, the true feeling of Greek hospitality comes right into the spotlight.
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Put forth by the gods, theGreek legislations of “xenia”demanded the hospitality, kindness, andgenerosity were expanded to a strangerno issue social class or elevator to develop aspecial bond more powerful than friendship.
How? Well in spite of being a guest and offered the finest hospitality, Paris, a prince of Troy, believed it was a an excellent idea to abduct the beautiful mam of Menelaos, that was the Greek king the Sparta. Trusting the Paris would respect the laws of xenia, Menelaos left only to return and find that his beautiful mam Eleni – well-known as “Oraia Eleni” or “fair Helen” – had actually been required to Troy…. and for this reason the Trojan war began.
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In Homer’s Iliad as converyed through the an excellent US classicist Edith Hamilton:
“Paris whom coming, gone into a friend’s kind dwelling, Shamed the hand over there that gave him food, Stealing away a woman.”
Philoxenia the modern-day Meaning
Then and also now, the idea behind philoxenia was to protect both host and guest and also to carry people closer together with good intention on both sidesirrelevant of society class, race, and also religionto create alliances in an often scary world.
Hamilton sums Greek hospitality up clearly:
“The ties in between guest and also host were strong. Each to be bound to help and never injury the other.”Edith Hamilton
So, true Greek hospitality is a matter of generosity and reciprocity, a give and take mentality the helps keep balance and provide the foundations for a domino impact of sharing, exchange, support and kindness – all very relevant in this day and also age.