X is for Xenia | #AtoZChallenge

XENIA: “The Greek term for the Laws of Hospitality. The custom in classical Greece and other ancient cultures that, if a traveler comes to a strange town, he can ask for food, shelter, and gifts to help him on his journey. In Greek tradition, the host was considered responsible for his guest’s comfort and safety, and a breach of those laws of hospitality was thought to anger Zeus (Roman Jupiter), the king of the gods.”

(Source: Xenia, Literary Terms and Definitions, Dr. L.K. Wheeler, Carson-Newman University.)

“Xenia was considered to be particularly important in ancient times when people thought gods mingled among them. If one had poorly played host to a stranger, there was the risk of incurring the wrath of a god disguised as the stranger. It is thought that the Greek practice of theoxenia may have been the antecedent of the Roman rite of Lectisternium, or the draping of couches.

Xenia consists of two basic rules:

  1. The respect from host to guest. The host must be hospitable and provide food, drink, bath, and gifts when the guest leaves. It is impolite to ask questions until the guest has finished the meal.
  2. The respect from guest to host. The guest must be courteous, not be a burden, and also provide a gift if he/she has one.

(Source: Xenia, Wikipedia.)

By contrast, xenophobia is the “dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries” (Oxford dictionary).

Source: Dreamstime

All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z

W is for Writing Wit

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning difficulties and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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6 Responses to X is for Xenia | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Pingback: Theme Reveal: Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) | Beyond the Precipice

  2. Pingback: W is for Writing Wit | #AtoZChallenge | Beyond the Precipice

  3. Good to know about Xenia!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JJAzar says:

    Xenia is huge in the Greek classics! The Odyssey! And I did NOT know that this is where the term ‘xenophobia’ comes from. But it makes so much sense! What a great job you’ve done here, Eva. Most all of these topics can be so heavily expanded upon. The fact that you addressed them all in a space of a month is remarkable.

    Liked by 1 person

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