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XENELA´SIA (ξενηλασία). The Lacedaemonians appear in very early times, before the legislation of Lycurgus, to have been averse to intercourse with foreigners (ξένοισι ἀπρόσμικτοι, Hdt. 1.65). This disposition was encouraged by the lawgiver, who made an ordinance forbidding strangers to reside at Sparta, without special permission, and empowering the magistrate to expel from the city any stranger who misconducted himself, or set an example injurious to public morals (cf. Hdt. 3.148). Such jurisdiction was exercised by the Ephori. Thucydides (2.39) makes Pericles reproach the Lacedaemonians with this practice, as if its object were to prevent foreigners from becoming acquainted with such institutions and means of defence as would be dangerous for an enemy to know. The intention of Lycurgus, more probably, was to preserve the national character of his countrymen, and prevent their being corrupted by foreign manners and vices (as Xenophon says), ὅπως μὴ ῥᾳδιουργίας οἱ πολῖται ἀπὸ τῶν ξένων ἐμπίπλαιντο (de Rep. Laced. 14.4; compare Plut. Lyc. 27; Schömann, Antiq. of Greece, p. 278, E. T.). With the same view the Spartans were themselves forbidden to go abroad without leave of the magistrate. Both these rules, as well as the feelings of the people on the subject, were much relaxed in later times when foreign rule and supremacy became the object of Spartan ambition. Even at an earlier period we find that the Spartans knew how to observe the laws of hospitality upon fit and proper occasions, such as public festivals, the reception of ambassadors, &c. (Xenoph. Mem. 1.2.61). They worshipped a Ζεὺς ξένιος and Ἀθανᾶ ξενία (Paus. 3.1.111). The connexion, called by the Greeks προξενία, was cultivated at Sparta both by the state and by individuals; of which their connexion with the Peisistratidae is an example; and also that of a Spartan family with the family of Alcibiades (Thuc. 5.43, 6.89, 8.6; Hdt. 5.91; compare 6.57). [HOSPITIUM] Many illustrious men are reported to have resided at Sparta with honour, as Terpander, Theognis, and others (Schömann, Ant. Jur. Publ. Gr. p. 142). Xenophon was highly esteemed by the nation, and made Spartan πρόξενος. It is noticeable that though there is no mention of ξενηλασία at Crete, yet the Dorian dislike of things foreign is evidenced by the prohibition of foreign travel for young men (Plat. Protag. p. 342 D). The ξενηλασία at Apollonia, a colony founded by the [p. 2.991]Corinthians and Corcyraeans, is mentioned in Ael. VH 13.16. (See further on the subject of the ξενηλασία, Thuc. 1.144, with Arnold's notes; Aristoph. Birds 1013; Harpocr. s. v. καὶ γὰρ τὸ μηδένα.

[C.R.K] [G.E.M]

hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (11):
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 1013
    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.65
    • Herodotus, Histories, 3.148
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.91
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.144
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.39
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.43
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.89
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.6
    • Plutarch, Lycurgus, 27
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 13.16
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