Saturday, October 15, 2005

Strange Privilege

Why was the stranger or guest so privileged in archaic Greece as to have Zeus’ special protection, when he gave it to almost no other mortals except his children, and even then not as unequivocally?


brainmarket said...

Modernly, an invitee has special protection under the law (and maybe still under Zeus, too--who knows?) extending so far as the right to sue for injuries caused by defects or dangerous conditions unknown to the landowner.

Nature's Rebel said...

Is that right? That makes me feel a little better about the modern condition. There is a naturalness to the laws of polytheism that attracts me.

Have you read 'The Odyssey'? You will notice that there is very little divine mandate about anything. But if you violate the sacred relation of host and guest, you are in big trouble. The suitors are the original bad guys. By contrast, you can murder someone and the gods won't bat an eye. That's left for the mortals themselves to sort out as well as they can.

Do you know anyone that hosts an exceptional party? For me it inspires an instinctive admiration. I suspect there is a connection in there to our evolved nature.

Gopher said...

I have read 'The Odyssey' and I do understand your point. Unfortunately, even in Polytheism, I believe the interference with religion on law is what has caused law to be so imbalanced.

In fact, the interference on politics, and society is aggrevating. I would rather see an atheist or agnostic leader than a strongly convicted religious one ruling a nation.