The Odyssey book one?

Telemakos saw Mentes and deemed him as a stranger but offered hospitality by allowing him to his feast, why is that? It is later said he was a trusted family friend, but why was it said that he was a stranger then?

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  • 9 years ago
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    Hi Unknown,

    in ancient Greece, anyone who asked for hospitality would be invited in the house and fed. Guests were under the protection of Zeus (under his form of Zeus Xenios), so to hurt them or deny them shelter would have been unthinkable.

    Also, Mentes is a friend of Odysseus', not Telemachus, so the boy had never seen him. You have to imagine a world without photos, without IDs and so on. Telemachus has never met his father, so when this man walks up and says that he's a friend of Odysseus', Telemachus must trust him to tell the truth. Furthermore, keeping an aura of 'foreigness' around Mentes is necessary, because Mentes is actually Athena.

    Be careful on your spelling - in Greek, 'Telemachus' is spelled with Greek letter 'chi', so you can't adapt it as a 'k' in English. A teacher might take points for it. :)

    Source(s): Archaeologist, Oxford University
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