Article

friendship, ritualized

G. Herman

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics


Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.2729

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Friendship, ritualized (or guest-friendship), a bond of trust, imitating kinship and reinforced by rituals, generating affection and obligations between individuals belonging to separate social units. In Greek sources this bond is called xenia, xeiniē, and xeineiē; in Latin, hospitium. The individuals joined by the bond (usually men of approximately equal social status) are said to be each other's xenos or hospes. As the same terms designated guest-host relationships, xenia and hospitium have sometimes been interpreted in modern research as a form of hospitality. Xenia, hospitium, and hospitality do overlap to some extent but the former relationships display a series of additional features which assimilate them into the wider category called in social studies ritualized personal relationships, or pseudo-kinship. The analogy with kinship did not escape the notice of the ancients themselves. According to the *AristotelianMagna Moralia, xenia was the strongest of all the relationships involving affection (philia) (2.

Article.  1815 words. 

Subjects: Economic History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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