Xenia is essentially, the principle of hospitality. Xenia is hosts treating their guests as well as they possibility can because in the ancient world, they believed that the Gods visited them in disguise so if someone comes to them in help, you should always help them as they may be divine.

It is commonly shown as a stranger traveller may show up at your home asking for help and you should according to the Greek rule of xenia, let them into your home and help them as much as possible. This can be enforced in many different ways, such as providing someone with shelter, food, a bed for the night, protection and also material items such as gifts. Normally you make give someone a parting gift when they leave as you wish them well on their travels.

Xenia is used as a unifying principle and helps to demonstrate and inform us how the ancient Greek society works. Xenia works in two ways, first way being the way that the host helps their guest with whatever they may need. The second way being the way that the guest treats their host in return.

Xenia is an important theme in the ancient world as it is relevant in epic poems such as ‘The Odyssey’ and ‘The Iliad’ by Homer. Xenia is used in ‘The Odyssey’ to help Odysseus on his travels home where he has to rely on the kindness of strangers. This causes xenia to be essential in his survival and his success in returning back to his home land, Ithaca. Without the principle of xenia, it is certain that the Homeric hero, Odysseus would have never returned home. Nausicaa is a woman who gave great xenia to Odysseus, she gave him food, shelter, advice on how to gain more xenia from the king and queen of the island they were on and also bathed him and put oils on his wounds