Why Is Xenia Such an Important Theme in the Odyssey?

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Why is Xenia such an important theme in the Odyssey? Explain your views and support them with details from the poem. (45 marks)

The concept of guest hospitality was extremely important in ancient Greece. Evidence that Xenia was integral to Greek society can be found in the fact that Zeus, the king of the Gods, was also portrayed as the God of Xenia. Xenia created an obligation for the host to be hospitable to their guests, and conversely, the guests had their own responsibilities too. If either the host or the guest was to break a Xenia rule, there would be severe penalties dealt by Zeus and also by society. Some basic Xenia rules were that the guest could not insult the host, make demands, or refuse xenia. Additionally, the host could
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The xenia gifts characters give are also a statement of wealth, as well as a way of acquiring wealth, for example, when Telemachus acquires a silver krater, a wedding dress, a golden cup and other elaborate gifts from his stay in Sparta.
In the Odyssey, Xenia is also shown to be one of the hallmarks of a civilised society, allowing us to judge the societies that Odysseus visits by their attitudes to xenia. For example, the Cyclopes are well informed about Xenia, yet disregard it because they have no fear of the God’s retribution. This tells us that the Cyclopes live in a formidable and amoral society. Even the Gods are shown to respect Xenia rules, for example in Book 5 when Calypso gives hospitality to Hermes. Good xenia is shown to have good repercussions for both the guest and the host: for example, Odysseus’ stay on the island of Calypso, where he is met with exceptional hospitality. Odysseus received this hospitality well and continued to please Calypso. Only at the end did he ever try to refuse her hospitality and leave, and even this caused no serious problems. Here we have an example of the guest-host relationship working well. Calypso is provided with a companion, even if it was not permanent, and Odysseus was provided with shelter, provisions, and protection for his men. In the end it proves to be a beneficial situation for them both.
Xenia also provides a system of

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