What does the encounter with Maron in "The Odyssey" tell you about ancient Greek attitudes toward hospitality?
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The encounter with Maron shows just how important hospitality (also called xenia, meaning roughly the duty of a host to a guest) is to the Greeks. They spare his life when they are destroying the entire rest of the city; he gives them wine in return. An exchange of gifts or services binds the two parties, and will bind their offspring as well. They are strangers no longer.
Greek hospitality also shows a certain interest in merit-making. They were inclined to even receive guests who were beggars and would not have anything to offer in return.
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