The practice of receiving strangers into one's house and giving them suitable entertainment may be traced back to the early origin of human so ciety. It is not, however, confined to any age or to any country, but has been observed in all parts of the globe wherever circumstances have been such as to render it desirable—thus affording one among many instances of the readiness with which human nature, in its moral as well as in its phys ical properties, adapts itself to every varying con dition. Hospitality is therefore not a peculiarly Oriental virtue. It was practiced, as it still is. among the least cultivated nations (Diod. Sic. v : 28, 34; Cws. Bell. Gall. vi :23; Tac. Germ. 21).
(1) Among Greeks and Romans. It was not less observed, in the early periods of their history, among the Greeks and Romans. With the Greeks, &Vitality (ElpuL) was under the immediate pro tection of religion. Jupiter bore a name (ZePtos, protector of guests) signifying that its rights were under his guardianship. In the Odyssey (v 2o6) we are told expressly that all guests and poor peo ple are special objects of care to the gods. There were both in Greece and Italy two kinds of hos pitality, the one private, the other public. The first existed between individuals, the second was cultivated by one state towards another. Hence arose a new kind of social relation : between those who had exercised and partaken of the rites of hospitality an intimate friendship ensued,—a spe cies of freemasonry, which was called into play wherever the individuals might afterwards chance to meet, and the right, duties, and advantages of which passed from father to son, and were de servedly held in the highest estimation.
(2) In the East. But though not peculiarly Oriental, hospitality has nowhere been more early or more fully practiced than in the East. It is still honorably observed among the Arabs, espe cially at the present day. An Arab, on arriving at a village, dismounts at the house of some one who is known to him, saying to the master, 'I am your guest.' On this the host receives the trav eler, and performs his duties, that is, he sets be fore his guest his supper, consisting of bread, milk, and borgul, and, if he is rich and generous, he also takes the necessary care of his horse or beast of burden. Should the traveler be
quainted with any person, he alights at any house, as it may happen, fastens his horse to the same, and proceeds to smoke his pipe until the master bids him welcome, and offers him his evening meal. In the morning the traveler pursues his journey, making no other return than 'God Lie with yote (good-by).
(3) Early Mention. We find hospitality prac ticed and held in the highest estimation at the earliest periods in which the Bible speaks of hu man society (Gen. xviii :3; XIX :2 ; XXiY :25 ; Exod. ii :2o; Judg. xix :16). Express provision for its exercise is made in the Mosaic law (Lev. xix :33; Dcut. xiv In the New Testament also its servance is enjoined, though in the period to which its books refer the nature and extent of hospitality would be changed with the change that society had undergone (i Pet. iv :9; I Tim. iii :2; Tit. i :8; Tim. v No; Rom. xii :13 ; Hcb. xiii :2). The dis position which generally prevailed in favor of the practice was enhanced by the fear lest those who neglected its rites should. after the example of im pious men, be subjected by the divine wrath to frightful punishments (iElian, Anint. xi, to). Even the Jews, in 'the latter days,' laid very great stress on the obligation : the rewards of Paradise. their doctors declared, were his who spontaneously exercised hospitality.
(4) The Guest. The guest, whoever he might be, was on his appearing invited into the house or tent (Gen. xix :2; Exod. :20; Judg. xiii :15; xix: 21). Courtesy dictated that no improper ques tions should be put to him, and some days elapsed before the name of the stranger was asked. or what object lie had in view in his journey (Gen. xxiv :33; Odyss. 123; iii, 69; Iliad vi, 175; ix, 222 ; Diod. Sic. v, 28). As SOOn aS lie arrived he was furnished with water to wash his feet (Gen.