By Gabriel Herman

During this e-book, Gabriel Herman deals a brand new interpretation of Greek xenia, a time period regularly rendered as 'guest-friendship'. Drawing on modern literary resources and inscriptions in addition to anthropology, sociology, and comparative proof from different occasions, he indicates that xenia was once a bond of fictitious kinship similar to godparenthood, instead of a tie of hospitality or usual 'friendship'. taking off from this proposition, he develops a dynamic version of the formation of elite relationships and values. He explores the recommendations of legal responsibility and loyalty, reward and bribe, treason and patriotism, and areas the Greek urban inside a brand new context of energy family members. This ebook, which assumes no wisdom of Greek, can be of curiosity to scholars and lecturers of historical heritage and classics. it is going to additionally entice social and political scientists.

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A good illustration of this process may be gleaned from a pseudoDemosthenic passage: Nikostratos, whom you see here in coun, men of the jury, was a neighbour of mine in the country, and a man of my own age (he/ikiotes). We had long known each other (yv~~ J1tv JIOl dXE) but after my father's death, when I went to live in the country, where I still live, we had much more to do with one another, since we were neighbours (geitones) and men of the same age (helikiota,). As time went on we became very inrimate (oikeios); indeed I came to feel on such intimate terms with him (oikeios) that he never failed to win any favour he asked of me...

Whatever the reality that lay behind these stories, it is clear that the authors had a stereotypical pattern in their minds which t ultimatelYt must have been abstracted from the actual practices of the ancient world. We must infer the existence of a stylised etiquette t made up of ceremonials, a technicallanguage t and a whole series of ritualistic devices. In other words t there was in the ancient world a code of manners and a context of ideas which governed, and by modem standards made uncommonly easy, the conclusion of alliances between enemies and strangers.

63 Thus, in several ways rituali~d friendship mimicked aspects of kinship relations. Yet it was not kinship in the proper sense of the term. Real kinship is given: it follows from birth. Ritualised friendship was an acquired relationship. It thus somewhat resembled kinship through marriage, since in both marriage and ritualised friendship a ritual act was deemed necessary to create a bond of affinity between unrelated individuals. But at this point the similarities stop. 3, ritualised friends performed for each other services which lay mostly outside the sphere of kinship obligations.

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