What Pains Are Fated to Fill Your Cup: The Role of Food, Drink, and Xenia in the Homeric Epics
PublisherMonroe Community College
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractGreek mythology states that the value of xenia - or hospitality and friendship towards guests - is guarded over by Zeus, the king of gods. Often this guest friendship meant an exchange of gifts or the occasion for a feast. Fittingly, the Odyssey, the epic of a wandering man relying on xenia for food and shelter, features an extremely large number of massively elaborate feasts. The Iliad also has a fairly large number of feasts, often between characters who are already friends, showing that xenia was not simply a formality that fell away when people had forged a relationship. While the Iliad primarily concerns itself with the execution and the etiquette of war, the Odyssey explains the expectations of a man in civil Greek society. Both epics repeatedly illustrate the consequences of being a poor host or a poor guest, while also showing the rewards for those who do not violate the social code. The Iliad and the Odyssey carefully articulate the proper behavior expected in this extremely important social ritual.
- Scholars' Day Review