<em>Xenia</em>: ritualized-friendship from Homer to Herodotus
Author(s)Gastón Javier Basile
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AbstractThe paper examines the linguistic configuration of ritualized-friendship through a contrastive analysis of the Homeric poems and Herodotus’ Histories. First, the critical approaches to xenia in the Greek world are charted. Second, the overall characteristics of the language of ritualized-friendship in the Homeric epic are outlined through a lexical analysis of the semantic field of xenos and its cognates. Finally, the development of the conceptual framework of ritualized-friendship is traced in Herodotus’ narrative. The analysis shows that Herodotus draws on a nominal abstract form ξεινίη, absent in Homer, and employs it from a geopolitical and largely secular stance, as a relatively technical term to designate inter-aristocratic bonds of friendship or alliance.