Essay about Xenia Is The Greco Roman Concept Of Hospitality

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Vergil distinctly evokes Homer’s social construct, xenia, in his epic The Aeneid, but he transforms it into hospitium. Xenia is the Greco-Roman concept of hospitality. Although Homer’s Iliad is replete with a variety of societal agents, by the end of his story xenia has overcome money, battle, and glory and cemented its place as the most vital of all authorities in Homer’s Greece. In Vergil’s The Aeneid, xenia is still present, although it now goes by the name hospitium. More than simply allowing hospitium to exist, Vergil still places value in it. Even in a new society hundreds of years later, Vergil decides that the idea of xenia is critical enough for him to incorporate it several times within his work. Both Vergil and Homer place importance on xenia and hospitium, although Vergil makes hospitium nearly powerless in comparison to xenia. Xenia is the most powerful force in the Iliad, and by the end of the story, xenia has overcome money, glory, and battle; this is exemplified by the interaction between Diomedes and Glaucus in the battle outside Ilium’s walls. Diomedes is on his aristea, the rampage where he earns most of his glory and kills many a Trojan. In the middle of this bout of destruction, Diomedes pauses. He notices a man and heads toward him, with the intent of ending the stranger’s life and earning himself more glory. When he is close enough, he shouts and asks this stranger of his name and his bloodline. The man replies, informing Diomedes that he is Glaucus,…

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