Brill’s New Pauly

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(551 words)

[German version]

(τὰ ξένια/xénia neutr. pl., also θεοξένια/theoxénia, feminine singular: 'hospitality (to the gods)'). A Greek rite of central importance in which, as an alternative to a customary sacrifice, gods and heroes of all kinds were invited to a public or private sacrificial meal. Literature, archaeology and inscriptions offer abundant evidence for 'tables of offering' (hierà trápeza) set with food and klinai with blankets for the entertainment of the divine guests. Smaller sacrificial offerings (such as fruit and cakes) were put on the 'tables o…

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Kowalzig, Barbara (Oxford), “Xenia”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 15 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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