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friendship, ritualized  

G. Herman

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.


reciprocity, Greek  

Tazuko Angela van Berkel

Reciprocity is a modern concept used in classical scholarship to denote the principle and practice of voluntary requital, both of benefit-for-benefit (positive reciprocity) and of harm-for-harm (negative reciprocity). The concept originated in the discipline of economic anthropology, but has been fruitful in the analysis of social, erotic, financial, political, and religious life in the Greek world. As a principle, reciprocity structures the plot of Homeric epics and Attic tragedy. It is also a phenomenon reflected on in diverse genres: its political meaning is explored in Homeric depictions of leadership crises and in Xenophon’s leadership theory. Presocratic cosmologies and early Greek historiography experiment with reciprocity as an explanatory principle. Attic tragedy and moral philosophy expose the implications and shortcomings of the ethical norm of reciprocity.

Reciprocity is a modern concept used in classical scholarship to denote the principle and practice of voluntary requital.1 Although the principle applies to both the requital of benefit-for-benefit (positive reciprocity) and of harm-for-harm (negative reciprocity, for instance revenge or retaliation), most debate has focused on positive reciprocity as an economic and interpersonal principle. The underlying intuition, that giving goods or rendering services imposes upon the recipient a moral obligation to respond, appears to be a universal.