The Art of Hospitality - The Greeks and the Odyssey

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John R


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October 3, 2015








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Appetizers, meats, and wines are all brought out and laid before the guest, as their coming is seen as a celebration, as seen when Telemachus is hosting Athena, "A staid housekeeper brought on bread to serve them,/appetizers aplenty too, lavishwith her bounty./A carver lifted platters of meat toward them,/meats of every sort?" (Book 1, 163-166) On several occasions, a particularly hospitable host offer the guest the choicest meet, even when they are entitled to it themselves: "? he passed them a fat rich loin with his own hands,/the choicest part, that he'd been served himself...
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In the case of the Phaeacians, no one asks Odysseus' name until it has become increasingly imperative that they have that knowledge; they don't ask after days of hosting him, even preparing to take him to his home on Ithaca without inquiring his name, "Farewell, stranger, sir? May the gods grant you safe passage home to see your wife...
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