Hospitality is the most popular topic the author alludes to in Odyssey. The reception’s importance is present in several lines throughout the poem, but the most vivid example is identified in part 3 of the narrative.
Homer wrote this poem to discuss many important issues in Greek society. Hospitality was among those issues. The third part of the writing, named “Father and Son,” vividly describes it. The Greek population referred to reception as “Xenia” and had an explanation for this term. The notion meant the sense of obligation to provide hospitality to their visitors, especially those whose home is far away, thus, establishing a friendship with them.
“Here is a poor man come, a wanderer,
driven by want to beg his bread, and everyone
in hall gave bits, to cram his bag—only
Antinous threw a stool, and banged his shoulder.
Suppose Athena’s arm is over us, and Zeus
her father’s, must I rack my brains for more?”
These lines show Odysseus, who was disguised as a poor man. He was trying to offer his bread to another poor man standing next to him. Some people are considered beggars. When they come into someone’s home, everyone should donate them food so that they could fill their stomachs. Food provision is an example of the hospitality that was observed in Greek society. Antinous was the exception as nobody threw a stool at him. Odysseus explained that Greek people are cordial and can give anything to strangers in the name of friendship. Thus, he gave the bread and told the older man to eat it. Such a manner displayed Odysseus as a generous man who did not merely kill a stranger but fed him.