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An inn. See Caupona.


ξενία, προξενία). Hospitality was one of the characteristic features of almost all nations in the primitive period. In civilized countries the necessity of general hospitality is not so much felt; but at a time when the State or the laws of nations afforded scarcely any security, and when the traveller on his journey did not meet with any places destined for his reception and accommodation, the exercise of hospitality was absolutely necessary. Among the nations of antiquity, with whom the right of hospitality was sanctified by religion, it was to some degree observed to the latest period of their existence, and acquired a political importance which it has never had in any other age. It was in Greece, as well as at Rome, of a twofold nature, either private or public, in as far as it was either established between individuals (hospitium privatum, ξενία) or between two States (hospitium publicum, προξενία).

The stranger who appeared with no hostile object was regarded in the light of a suppliant and under the especial protection of Zeus Xenios. Hence he was kindly received, and on his departure broke a die (ἀστράγαλος, tessera) with the host, each keeping a half for mutual recognition by themselves or by their descendants in future times. The ties of hospitality thus formed were hereditary in families. At Rome a stranger (hospes) was equally protected by custom and law, and the tessera hospitalis was equally a pledge and a symbol of this relation of host and guest. A formal hospitality when once declared could only be broken off in an equally formal way by a solemn renuntiatio. Public, as opposed to private, hospitality was a like relation between nations and cities, who were bound to show especial kindness to each other's citizens. See Civitas; Foederatae Civitates; Politeia; Proxenus; Tessera.

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