Roman Terms > Roman International Relations and Treaty Terms > Hospitium
Hospitium is a Latin term for hospitality that describes the fides-based relationship of a hospes to a Roman. The Greek equivalent to hospitium is Xenia, which refers to a guest-friendship.
Hospitium could be between individuals, between two individuals and their families, or between communities and an individual or another community, which means that hospitium publicum 'public hospitality' has implications for international relationships. Hospitium is a little less important than the relationship of a cliens to his Roman, but there is also less dependence than the client had on his patron.
Public hospitality includes the foedus hospitii 'treaty of hospitality.' Clifford Ando says that it is not accurate to say that hospitium publicum implies the conferring of all the rights and privileges of Roman citizenship without all the burdens and obligations because, first and foremost, hospitium is not a form of citizenship.
- "Was Rome a Polis?," by Clifford Ando; Classical Antiquity, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Apr., 1999), pp. 5-34
- "The Moral Basis of Hospitium Privatum," by Oscar E. Nybakken; The Classical Journal, Vol. 41, No. 6 (Mar., 1946), pp. 248-253
- Lacus Curtius Hospitium