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date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the notions of hospitality, or hospitium, among the Romans and how this affected their social relations. It shows that the practice of hospitality was viewed in a positive light, and may have been important in lessening conflicts. It then differentiates between guest friendship and hospitality, and looks at the sacred character of hospitality. The article also discusses the tokens given as a sign of guest friendship and the exchange of gifts and provision of services by the hospites. It also cites some instances where hospitality failed to meet the expectations of one or both of the parties involved.

Keywords: hospitality, hospitium, guest friendship, sacred character, tokens, gift exchange, hospites

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