a collide of cultures in the journey
Generalizations and associations seem to permeate the culture of every human culture. If this were not the case, there would be does not require the sociological study of ethnocentricity. The Odyssey of Homer firmly exhibits this quality of judging cultures and other peoples based on criteria defined by its own ancient greek language civilization. In this way, one can pull a parallel between Historic China and Ancient Portugal. The Chinese once looked at their nation as the middle of the galaxy, their values, beliefs, and customs were the standards against which they tested everything and everyone else. From The Odyssey, you can detect an identical methodology in how in which the Greeks assessed the amount of sophistication of other civilizations by using their own familiar events as universal standards for defining humanity. Throughout the Odyssey, one can isolate 3 main methods the Greeks used in their particular cultural categories: hospitality, story-telling, and diet plan. However , to be able to appreciate completely the importance of such requirements of assessment, one should examine the context in which every criterion was used. Since Homer does not directly list each criterion one by one, one might have to give a cursory examination of the attributes of every single civilization that Odysseus activities, as well as the distinct impressions the Greeks acquired when encountering each a single, so as to make a basic knowledge of how food, story-telling, and diet relate to one another and also to the general notion of humanity.
Hospitality is among the largest continual themes inside the Odyssey. Simply by examining how Nestor greets Telemachos to his household, one can get a good model of how a sponsor should deal with his guests. Before Nestor even recognizes Telemachos as Odysseuss kid, he and his family generously escort Telemachos and his buddies into their house, inviting them to dine with all the rest (The Odyssey, Book III, 34-44). Nestor actually asks the strangers to distinguish themselves only after Telemachos and his friends have completed their foods (III, 69-74). Though all of us in our modern day might find this custom of eat initially, ask later to be quite odd, the ancient Greeks commonly used this concept of food as a method of assessing the degree of grace and refinement of the particular people. Story-telling is usually another important part of ancient greek language culture where the heroes in The Odyssey attached top quality and brilliance. For instance, because of Odysseuss amazing tales of his trips, the Phaiakian listeners had been all troubled in silence, held in thrall by story all through the shadowy rooms (XI, 333-334). Consequently, the Phaiakians proceeded to inundate Odysseus with increased gifts, in order to compensate him for his sufferings and show their particular appreciation intended for his well-told stories (XI, 336-341).
Overall I felt which the ancient Greek concept of hospitality plus the high value placed on story-telling had been quite interesting, even though a bit overseas to my own understanding of lifestyle. However , I was able to relate with most of their values relating to diet and culinary processing, including the assumptions on the characteristics and top quality of a culture associated with individuals ethics. For instance, one can refer to how Odysseus described the Cyclops, Polyphemos: his mind was lawless, / and truth having been a gigantic wonder made to behold, not / like a man, a great eater of bread, but more like a wooded / peak of a the large mountains found standing away from the others (IX, 189-192). Even though the Cyclops was referred to as monstrous, lawless, and ancient, one should notice the direct comparison to humans Odysseus made in order to help his listeners better understand the morally depraved nature of Polyphemos. In short, the Cyclops would not eat bread, like usual humans. First, the term eater of bread provides a metaphor pertaining to non-anthropophagia. Since both the Cyclops and Odysseus spoke precisely the same language and may communicate on the coherent level, the thought of a single sentient being knowingly devouring another sentient being looked barbaric and repulsive, almost cannibalistic. Hence, I cringed as I examine how Polyphemos killed two companions of Odysseus by smashing these people into the surface, like puppy dogs, and then ate them uncooked (IX, 287-295).
Perhaps that seeing that I share this same antipatia toward cannibalism as the Ancient Greeks, I have bridged a section on this cultural difference that inhibits me via fully understanding their idea of humanity and refined world. If a single tries to choose this same level of fervor regarding Greek hospitality and story-telling, as one may possibly in ones rejection of cannibalism, we might better relate to the way the Greeks in The Journey evaluated diverse cultures, classifying some because barbaric and more as more superior. For example , the first concepts which come to my thoughts when I think of the term cannibal happen to be primitive, cruel, uncivilized, chaotic, and uncultured. Hence, by associating the phrase cannibal with the Cyclops, the vices of such adjectives carry in my mind, and a negative impression of the individual surfaces. One can then hypothesize this formulation of the image of a particularly barbaric race was precisely the effect that Odysseus desired to convey to his listeners at the time.
However , though someone can argue that practically nothing prevents Odysseus from manipulating the concepts of food, story-telling, and diet to be able to invoke a long negative impression of a particular foreign traditions, one may well suggest that the ancient Greeks merely experienced concrete examples to describe barbaric cultures, wherever inhospitableness and cannibalism were simply groups given to these kinds of unrefined civilizations. For instance, you could compare Polyphemos with the Laistrygonians. Like the Cyclops, the Laistrygonians were much bigger and better than humans (X, 112-113). This race of titans likewise demonstrated murderous rudeness when they plonked giant big river rocks at the delivers of Odysseus, so that all but his individual were ruined (X, 121-132). However , the very best similarity involving the Cyclopes as well as the Laistrygonians is the fact that they the two eat man flesh. Two of Odysseuss males were right away captured and also for dinner in the house of one of such giants (X, 116), and some were being speared like fish and removed to be ingested (X, 124-125). Hence, a historical Greek could then create assumptions about different civilizations by generalizing on the concepts of diet plan, hospitality, etc . and associating them with the seemingly philistine nature of those civilizations explained. For instance the very fact that the Cyclopes and the Laistrygonians happen to be eaters of flesh may imply that they are also cruel, inhospitable, and risky. Likewise, in the event Odysseus encounters a third contest that seems pitiless, inhospitable, and primitively aggressive, it will not end up being unreasonable for one to surmise that such a race may additionally be devourers of individual flesh, not eaters of bread just like man.
As a final point, one can also draw a correlation between the principles of ancient Greek culture and their theological values. For instance, when Odysseus 1st spoke towards the Polyphemos the Cyclops, this individual requested an extra present or some gift of grace, intended for such is definitely the right of strangers (IX, 267-268). After i initially browse those lines, I sensed that Odysseuss words had been a bit ahead and adventurous, almost impolite. However , by simply reading further more, I attained a possible cause of why Odysseus reasoned the way in which he performed, for this individual said: Consequently respect the gods [. ] Were your suppliants, and Zeus the guests god [? ] avenges any incorrect toward strangers and suppliants (IX, 268-271). Therefore , a single might believe it is this kind of fear of taking on a gods wrath that produces these Greeks to follow persuits they have little by little believed to be godlike or god-defined. But take note how Polyphenos responds to Odysseuss comment on the gods when he said: The Cyclopes do not concern themselves above Zeus of the aegis, nor any of the rest of the blessed gods, since we are far better than they (IX, 275-277). It then follows that since the Cyclopes do not fear the gods, they take action impulsively and are motivated simply by their selfish desires. The epitome of the Cyclopss haughty fearlessness can be demonstrated by the way he continuously slaughters Odysseuss companions pertaining to food. Polyphemos completely neglects this code of hospitality that is this kind of integral part of Greek lifestyle and their theology and absolutely ignores any consequences of his actions. Hence, you can add that the Cyclopes are an inhospitable, uncultured, man-eating barbaric competition, but they also are sacrilegious, haughty, and short-sighted. Indeed, one likely cannot draw many of these conclusions solely by noticing the diet with the Cyclopes. Rather, by appraising the behavior and customs of another civilization against values and values that are therefore seemingly universal in their eyes, the ancient Greeks were able to draw generalizations within the sophistication of another races culture. Even as we could see with the both Cyclopes and the Laistrygonians, such generalizations were upheld and proven to be exact.
Overall, by thoroughly noting every incidences inside the Odyssey where a convention, customized, or meaning is being questioned or applied, one could get a glimpse of what sort of values and ideals the old Greeks in epic poems held. Furthermore, one would then simply have the basis of arguing so that the ideals and traditions of the actual ancient Greek civilization at that time has been. Objectively, although, one may well argue up against the absurdity of judging a complete culture or perhaps race of people based on their diet. However , even inside our world today, we see persons passing judgement and generalizations left and right, specifically through the press. Perhaps, if the Cyclopes or perhaps the Laistrygonians had their own Homeric poet, we would then see a different aspect of the history than the one particular related to us through the winged words of Odysseus.