Hospitality In The Odessey
Hospitality plays a very big role in Greek life. It was by this system that people were able to travel without the fear of being rejected and having nowhere to stay. A host never knew if the beggar on his/her doorstep was a god in disguise. Such paranoia and religious beliefs kept most characters in Homer?s Odyssey on the straight and narrow, but others had no manners to begin with.
In Greek religion travelers were protected by the head god: Zeus. He was supposed to take care of them and keep them safe while they were away from home. They, in turn, were to act in an according way. When welcomed into a house, one was supposed to be gracious and not demand more than the owner could give. Their stay was not to impose too much of a burden on the household, or the means of survival for that house. Rarely were visitors asked to leave, but if they were, the wishes of the host were to be satisfied. Basically, if a traveler was courteous and was not demanding, they were following the rules of hospitality laid down by the gods.
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