Miami Linguistics Series No.

12
INDO-EUROPEAN
LANGUAGE AND
SOCIETY
by
EMILE BENVENISTE
Summaries, table and index by
JEAN LALLOT
Translated by
ELIZABETH PALMER
m
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI PRESS
Coral Gables, Florida
The original French version, under the title
Le vocabulaire des institutions Indo-Europeennes,
was published by Les Editions de Minuit, Paris
Copyright© 1969, Les Editions de Minuit
This translation Copyright© 1973 by Faber and
Faber Ltd, Publishers
Published 1973 by University of Miami Press
Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 73-77II9
ISBN o-87024-250-4
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Chapter 7
HOSPITALITY
In Latin 'guest' is called hostis and hospes < *hosti-pet-. What is the
meaning of these elements? What is the meaning cif the compound?
I) -pet-, which also appears in the forms pot-, Lat. potis (Gr. potis,
despotes, Skr. pati}:l), and -pt- (Lat. -pte, i-pse?) originally meant
personal identity. In the family group ( dem-) it is the master who is eminently
'himself' (ipsissimus, in Plautus, means the master); likewise, despite the
morphological difference, Gr. desp6tes, like dominus, designated the person
who personified thefamily group par excellence.
2) The primitive notion conveyed by hostis is that of equality by compensation:
a hostis is one who repays my gift by a counter-gift. Thus, like its Gothic
counterpart, gasts, Latin hostis at one period denoted the guest. The classical
meaning 'enemy' must have developed when reciprocal relations between clans
were succeeded by the exclusive relations cif civitas to civitas (if. Gr. xenos
'guest'> 'stranger').
3) Because cifthis Latin coined a new name for 'guest': *hosti-pet-, which
may perhaps be interpreted as arising from an abstract noun hosti 'hospitality'
and consequently meant 'he who predominantly personifies hospitality', is
hospitality itself.
The study of a certain number of expressions relating to exchange, especially
those based on the root *mei-, like the Latin miinus 'an honorific post imply-
ing an obligation to reciprocate', !.-Jr. Mitra, the personification of a reciprocal
contract (as illustrated in Iliad VI, I 2o-246), *mei-t- in the Latinmiituus,
Skt. mithu- 'changed (falsely)'> 'lie', Av. mi6wara 'pair' also leads us
to a word for 'guest': mehman in middle and modern Iranian.
Another word for 'guest' in modern Iranian, erman < aryaman, links up
with a very special kind cif 'hospitality' within a group cif the Arya, one cif the
forms cif which is reception by marriage.
The vocabulary of Indo-European institutions throws up some
important problems, the terms of which have, in some cases, not yet
been posed. We become aware of their existence and even partly
create the object of our study by examining words which reveal the
existence of an institution, the traces ofwhich we can barely glimpse
in the vocabulary of this or that language.
71
Giving and Taking
One group of words refers to a well established social phenomenon,
hospitality, the concept of the 'guest'. The basic term, the Latin hospes,
is an ancient compound. An analysis of its component elements
illuminates two distinct notions which finally link up: hospes goes
back to * hosti-pet-s. The second component alternates with pot- which
signifies 'master', so that the literal sense of hospes is 'the guest-master'.
This is a rather peculiar designation. In order to understand it better
we must analyse the two elements potis and hostis separately and study
their etymological connexions.
The term *potis first merits a brief explanation in its own right. It
presents itself in its simple aspect in Sanskrit pdtil) 'master' and
'husband' and in Greek posis 'husband', or in composition as in
despotis.
In Sanskrit the distinct senses 'master' and 'husband' correspond
to different declensions of one and the same stem; but this is a
development peculiar to Sanskrit. As for Gr. posis, a poetical word
for 'husband', it is distinct from despotis, where the sense 'master of
the house' is no longer felt; despotes is solely an expression of power,
whereas the feminine despoina conveys the idea of 'mistress', a title
of majesty.
The Greek term despotis, like the Sanskrit correspondent ddm
pdtil), belongs with a group of ancient compound words, each of
which had as its first element the name of a social unit of variable
extension:
dam pdtil;t (master of the house)
vis , (master of the clan)
jiis , (master of the 'lineage')
Apart from despotis and dam pdtil), the only one attested in a number of
languages is the compound which is in Sanskrit viS-pdtil) and in
Lithuanian vls-pats 'clan chief'.
In Latin an extensive word family is organized around the word
*potis either as a free form or in composition. Apart from hospes it
forms the adjectives impos, compos 'who is not .. .' or 'who is master
of himself, of his senses' and the verb *potire, the perfect of which,
potui, survives incorporated into the conjugation of the verb meaning
'be able', possum, which itself is formed from the adjective potis in a
predicative use: potis sum, pate est, an expression which is simplified to
possum, potest.
Hospitality
All this is clear and there would be no problem, the sense being
constant and the forms superimposable, had not *potis at two points
of the Indo-European world developed a very different sense. In
Lithuanian it provides the adjective pats 'himself' and also the
substantive pats 'master' (in composition vls-pats). Parallel to this,
we find in Iranian the compound adjective xvae-paiOya 'one's own',
'of oneself', and used without distinction of person 'mine, yours, his';
one's own. xvae is an Iranian form of the ancient reflexive pronoun
* swe, * se, literally 'of oneself' and -paiOya derived from the ancient
*poti-. These facts are well known, but they deserve careful scrutiny
because of the singularity of the problem which they pose. Under
what conditions can a word denoting 'master' end up by signifying
identity? The primary sense of *potis is well defined, and it had a
strong force: 'master', whence in marriage 'husband', or in social
terminology the 'chief' of some unit, whether house, clan, or tribe.
But the sense 'oneself' is also well attested. Here Hittite makes an
important new contribution. It offers no form corresponding to
*potis, whether as adjective or substantive. Despite the early date at
which it appears, Hittite has a vocabulary which has already been
transformed to a considerable extent. Many notions now are conveyed
by new terms. The interesting point in the present connexion is that
Hittite presents an enclitic particle, -pet (-pit), the sense of which is
'precisely (him)self', a particle of identity referring to the object
under discussion. An example is the following:
'If a slave flees,
and if he goes to an enemy country,
the one who brings him back,
he is the one who takes him.'
takku IR-is huwai
nas kururi KURe paizzi
kuisan EGIR-pa uwatezzi
nanzan a p a s p i t dai.
In this demonstrative apas-pit, 'that one precisely, that very one',
the particle -pit establishes a relation of identity. It has, incidentally,
the same function whether attached to a demonstrative, a noun,
or even a verb. It is evident that the use of this particle corre-
sponds to the sense of identity of *potis found in Lithuanian and in
Iranian.
Once the sense, the form and the use is established in these
languages, we discover elsewhere other forms which can be linked
with them in all probability. The Lithuanian particle pat signifies
'exactly, precisely', like the Hittite -pet. With this may be compared
73
Giving and Taking
Lat. utpote, the analysis of which must be rectified. It does not mean
etymologically 'as is possible' (with the pate of pate est) but 'precisely
in as much', with pate marking the identity. Utpote emphatically
identifies the action with its agent, the predicate with the person
who assumes it. We may also add the Latin postposition -pte in
suopte (Festus: suopte pro suo ipsius) 'his very own, what belongs to that
very person'. A further example, but this is less certain, is the mys-
terious -pse of ipse. In any case, if we confine ourselves to the two
Latin facts and to the Lithuanian pat, we can establish the survival
of a use of *pot- to designate the person himself, and to assign to him
the possession of a predicate affirmed in the sentence. Accordingly,
what was considered as an isolated use becomes an important
indication and reveals to us the proper signification of potis. While it is
difficult to see how a word meaning 'the master' could become so
weakened in force as to signify 'himself', it is easy to understand how
an adjective denoting the identity of a person, signifying 'himself',
could acquire the sense of master. This process, which illustrates the
formation of an institutional concept, can be corroborated elsewhere:
several languages have come to designate 'the master' by a term
meaning 'himself'. In spoken Latin, in Plautus, ipsissimus indicates
the 'master (mistress), the patron', the (personage) himself, the only
one who is important. In Russian, in peasant speech, sam 'himself'
refers to the 'lord'. In a restricted but important community, among
the Pythagoreans, autos ephii 'he himself has said it',
with autos referred to the 'master' par excellence, Pythagoras, and the
formula was used to specify a dictum as authentic. In Danish, han
sjelv and in German er selbst have the same meaning.
For an adjective meaning 'himself' to develop into the meaning
'master' there is one necessary condition: there must be a circle of
persons subordinated to a central personage who assumes the
personality and complete identity of the group to such an extent that .
he is its summation: in his own person he is its incarnation.
This is exactly the development we find in the compound *dem-
pot ( i)- 'master of the house'. The role of the person so named is not
to give orders but to assume a representation which gives him
authority over the family as a whole with which he is identified.
A verb derived from *poti-, like Skt. pdtyate, Lat. potior 'to have
power over something, have something at one's disposal', already
marks the appearance of a sense of 'to be able to'. With this may be
74
Hospitality
compared the Latin verb possidere, 'possess', stemming from *pot-
sedere, which describes the 'possessor' as somebody who is established
on something. The same figurative expression has passed into the
German word 'besitzen'. Again, in Latin we have the adjective
compos 'he who is master, who has command of himself'. The notion
of 'power' (theoretical) is thus constituted and it receives its verbal
form from the predicative expression pate est, contracted to potest,
which gives rise to the conjugation possum,potest 'I am capable, I can' .
1
It is worth while pausing for a moment to consider a peculiar fact:
as against Skt. dam pati and Gr. despotes, Latin has formed from the
same root an equivalent expression, but by a different procedure:
this is dominus, a secondary derivative which belongs to a series of
expressions for 'chief'. Thus tribunus 'chief of the tribe', in Gothic
kindins ( < * genti-nos) 'chief of the gens'; * druhtins ( 0 H G truhtin)
'chief of the body'; piudans < *teuta-nos 'king', 'chief of the people'.
This morphological process whereby *-nos is suffixed to the name of a
social unit, has furnished in Latin and Germanic expressions for
chiefs of political and military groups. Thus, by independent paths,
the two series link up: on the one hand by means of a suffix, on the
other by a compound word, the term for the master has been coined
from the social unit which he represents.
We must return now to the compound which provoked this
analysis, hospes, this time in order to study the initial term, hostis.
Among the expressions common to the prehistoric vocabulary of the
European languages it is of special interest: hostis in Latin corresponds
to gasts of Gothic and to gosti of Old Slavonic, which also presents
gos-podi 'master', formed like hospes.
But the meaning of Gothic gasts and OSI. gosti is 'guest', whereas
that of Latin hostis is 'enemy'. To explain the connexion between
'guest' and 'enemy' it is usually supposed that both derived their
meaning from 'stranger', a sense which is still attested in Latin. The
notion 'favourable stranger' developed to 'guest'; that of 'hostile
stranger' to 'enemy'.
In fact, 'stranger, enemy, guest' are global notions of a somewhat
vague character, and they demand precision by interpretation in their
historical and social contexts. In the first place, the signification of
1
For the semantic study ofpot(i)-, reference may be made to our article
'Problemes semantiques de Ia reconstruction', Word X, Nos. 2-3, 1954, and
Problemes de linguistique generate, Gallimard xg66, pp. 3orff.
75
Giving and Taking
Jwstis must be narrowed down. Here we are helped by the Latin
authors themselves who furnish a series of words of the same family
and also some instructive examples of the use of the term hostis. It
preserved its ancient value of 'stranger' in the law of the Twelve
Tables, e.g.: adversus hostem aeterna auctoritas est(o), no word of which,
with the exception of the verb 'to be', is employed in the same sense
as in classical Latin. It must be understood as 'vis-a-vis a stranger, a
claim for property persists forever', it never lapses when it is against a
foreigner that the claim is introduced. Of the word hostis itself, Festus
says: eius enim generis ab antiquis hostes appellabantur quod erant pari iure
cum populo Romano, atque hostire ponebatur pro aequare 'in ancient
times they were called hastes because they had the same rights as the
Roman people, and one said hostire for aequare'. It follows from this
note that hostis is neither the stranger nor the enemy. We have to
proceed from the equivalence of hostire = aequare, while the derivative
redhostire is glossed as 'referre gratiam' ('repay a kindness') in Festus.
This sense of hostire is still attested in Plautus: Promitto hostire contra ut
merueris 'I promise you a reciprocal service, as you deserve' ( Asin. 3 77).
It recurs in the noun hostimentum, explained as 'beneficii pensatio',
'compensation of a benefit' and also 'aequamentum', 'equalization'. To
a more specialized technique belongs hostus, an archaic term of the
language of cited and explained by Varro, R.R. I, 24, 3:
hostum vacant quod ex uno facto olei reficitur 'one calls hostus the amount
of oil obtained in one single pressing operation'. In some way the
product is considered as a counterpart. Another technical term is
hostorium, a stick for use with a bushel measure so as to keep a constant
level. The old Roman pantheon, according to S. Augustine, knew a
Dea Hostilina, who had as her task to equalize the ears of corn or to
ensure that the work accomplished was exactly compensated by the
harvest. Finally, a very well-known word, hostia, is connected with
the same family: its real sense is 'the victim which serves to appease
the anger of the gods', hence it denotes a compensatory offering, and·
herein lies the distinction which distinguishes hostia from victima in
Roman ritual.
It is a striking fact that in none of these words, apart from hostis,
does the notion of hostility appear. Primary or derived nouns, verbs
or adjectives, ancient expressions of the religious language or of rural
vocabulary, all attest or confirm that the first sense is aequare 'com-
pensate, equalize'.
Hospitality
How does hostis itself fit in with this? This emerges from the
definition of Festus already cited: 'quod erant pari iure cum populo
Romano'. This defines the relation of hostis and hostire: 'the hastes
had the same rights as the Romans'. A hostis is not a stranger in
general. In contrast to the peregrinus, who lived outside the boundaries
of the territory, hostis is 'the stranger in so far as he is recognized as
enjoying equal rights to those of the Roman citizens'. This recognition
of rights implies a certain relation of reciprocity and supposes an
agreement or compact. Not all non-Romans are called hostis. A
bond of equality and reciprocity is established between this particular
stranger and the citizens of Rome, a fact which may lead to a precise
notion of hospitality. From this point of view hostis will signify 'he
who stands in a compensatory relationship' and this is precisely the
foundation of the institution of hospitality. This type of relationship
between individuals or groups cannot fail to invoke the notion of
potlach, so well described and interpreted by Marcel Mauss in his
monograph on 'le Don, forme primitive de l'echange', Annie socio-
logique, 1924. This system which is known from the Indians of
Northwest America consists of a series of gifts and counter-gifts, each
gift always creating an obligation of a superior gift from the partner,
in virtue of a sort of compelling force. It is at the same time a feast
connected with certain dates and cults. It is also an economic
phenomenon, in so far as it secures circulation of wealth; and it is
also a bond between families, tribes and even their descendants.
The notion of'hospitality' is illuminated by reference to potlach, of
which it is a weakened form. It is founded on the idea that a man is
bound to another (hostis always involves the notion of reciprocity) by
the obligation to compensate a gift or service from which he has
benefited.
The same institution exists in the Greek world under a different
name: xlnos indicates relations of the same type between
men bound by a pact which implies precise obligations that also
devolve on their descendants. The xenia placed under the
protection of Zeus Xenios, consists of the exchange of gifts between
the contracting parties, who declare their intention of binding their
descendants by this pact. Kings as well as private people act in this
way: '(Polycrates) had concluded a xenia (with Amasis) and they sent
each other presents' (verb of making a compact)
7te!J.7t(1)\l awp<X K<XL IJ.)..).,x 7t<Xp' eK&L\IOU (Herodotus III, 39)·
77
Giving and Taking
Mauss (Revue des Etudes grecques, 1921) finds an example of the same
custom among the Thracians. Xenophon wanted to conclude
arrangements for the food supplies of his army. A royal councillor
tells him that if he wants to remain in Thrace and enjoy great wealth,
he has only to give presents to King Seuthes and he would give him
more in return (Anabasis VII, 3; X, 10). Thucydides (II, 97) gives
much the same testimony apropos of another Thracian king, Sitalkes:
for him it is more shameful not to give when one is asked to do so
than not to receive when one has asked. In the civilization ofThrace,
which seems to have been rather archaic, this system of obligation
was still preserved in its full force.
One of the Indo-European expressions of this institution is precisely
the Latin term hostis, with its Gothic correspondent gasts and Slavic
gospodi. In historical times the custom had lost its force in the Roman
world: it presupposes a type of relationship which was no longer
compatible with the established regime. When an ancient society
becomes a nation, the relations between man and man, clan and clan,
are abolished. All that persists is the distinction between what is
inside and outside the civitas. By a development of which we do not
know the exact conditions, the word hostis assumed a 'hostile' flavour
and henceforward it is only applied to the 'enemy'.
As a consequence, the notion of hospitality was expressed by a
different term in which the ancient hostis nevertheless persists, but in
a composition with *pot(i)s: this is hospes < *hostipefot-s. In Greek, the
guest (the one received) is the xlnos and he who receives is the
xenodokhos In Sanskrit, atithi 'guest' has as its correlate
atithi-pati 'he who receives'. The formation is parallel to that of Latin
hospes. The one who receives is not the 'master' of his guest. As we
have seen, -pot- did not have originally the meaning of 'master'.
Another proof of this is the Gothic brilp-japs 'newly married man,
the German equivalent of which is Brautigam 'bridegroom'.
From brup 'newly married woman' was created the corresponding
designation for the 'newly married man', either with *potis as in
Gothic brup-fajJs, or with guma 'man', like in the German Brautigam.
The formation of *ghosti- (hostis) deserves attention. It looks like
an abstract word in -ti which has become a personal qualification.
All the ancient compounds in -poti- have in effect as their first
element a general word designating a group: thus *dems-poti,
jiis-pati. We thus understand better the literal sense of *ghosti-pets,
Hospitality
hospes as the incarnation of hospitality. In this way we link up with
the above definition ofpotis.
Thus the history of hostis recapitulates the change brought about
in Roman institutions. In the same way xlnos, so well characterized
as 'guest' in Homer, later became simply the 'stranger', the non-
national. In Attic law there is a graphi xenia.r, a lawsuit against a
'stranger' who tries to pass for a citizen. But xlnos did not evolve the
sense of 'enemy' as did hostis in Latin.
The semantic mechanism described for hostis has a parallel in
another order of ideas and another series ofwords. It concerns those
which come from the root *mei-, 'exchange', Skt. ni-mayate 'he
exchanges' and especially the Latin term munus ( <*moi-nos, cf. the
archaic form moenus). This word is characterized by the suffix -nes,
the value of which was determined by Meillet (Mlm. Soc. Ling.,
vol. XVII) in pignus,facinus,funus,finus, all words which, like munus,
refer to notions of a social character; cf also Skt. rek-na}J 'heritage',
etc. In fact munus has the sense of'duty, a public office'. From it are
derived several adjectives: munis, immunis, communis. The last has a
parallel in Gothic: ga-mains, German gemein 'common'.
But how can the notion of 'charge, responsibility, public office'
expressed by munus be associated with that of 'exchange' indicated
by the root? Festus shows us the way by defining munus as 'donum
quod officii causa datur' (a gift made for the sake of an officium). In fact,
among the duties of a magistrate munus denotes spectacles and games.
The notion of'exchange' is implied by this. In nominating somebody
as a magistrate one confers on him honour and certain advantages.
This obliges him in return to counter-service in the form of expendi-
ture, especially for games and spectacles. In this way we can better
understand the affinity betweengratus and munis (Plautus, Mere. 105),
and the archaic sense of immunis as 'ingratus' (that is to say one who
fails to make return for a benefit). If munus is a gift carrying the
obligation of an exchange, immunis is he who does not fulfil his
obligation to make due return. This is confirmed in Celtic by Irl.
main (main) 'precious objects', dag-moini 'presents, benefits'. Con-
sequently communis does not mean 'he who shares the duties' but
really 'he who has munia in common'. Now if the system of
compensation is active within one and the same circle, this
determines a 'community', a group of persons united by this bond
of reciprocity.
79
Giving and Taking
Thus the complex mechanism of gifts which provoke counter-
gifts by a kind of compelling force finds one more expression among
the terms derived from the root *mei-, like milnus. If we did not have
the model of this institution, if would be difficult to grasp the meaning
of the terms which refer to it, for it is within this precise and technical
framework that these terms find their unity and proper relations.
A further question now arises: is there no simple expression for
'gift' which does not call for a return? The answer is already given.
It emerges from a previous study: there exists an Indo-European
root, that of Latin do, donum, Greek d8ron. It is true, as we have seen
above (p. 54), that the etymological prehistory of *do- is by no
means straightforward but is a criss-cross of apparently contradictory
facts.
Nevertheless, in historical times the notion of 'give' is everywhere
attached precisely to the form of *do-, and in each of the languages
(except Hittite) it gives rise to parallel formations. If in Greek the
term d8ron does not indicate in itself and unequivocally 'gift' without
reciprocity, the meaning of the adverb doredn 'gratuitously, for
nothing' is sufficient guarantee that the 'gift' is really a disinterested
one. We must further mention forms stemming from another root
which is little known and represented but which must be re-established
in its importance and antiquity: this is the root *ai-. From it is
derived the verb ai-tsi 'give' in Tokharian, as well as the Hittite
pai- (formed by attachment of the preverb pe- to ai-) 'give'. Greek
has preserved a nominal form atsa (oclcroc) 'lot, share'. In Oscan an
abstract *ai-ti- 'part' is attested by the genitive singular aeteis, which
corresponds in meaning to the Latin genitive partis. Finally, Illyrian
onomastics presents us with the proper name Aetor, which is the
agent noun from this same root ai-. Here we have evidence for a new
expression for 'give' conceived as 'assigning a portion'.
Returning now to the words belonging to the etymological family
represented in Latin by milnus, immunis, communis, we can pick out in
Indo-Iranian a derivative of considerable importance and peculiar
formation. This is a divine personification, the Indo-Iranian god
Mitra, formed from *mei-, in a reduced form, with the suffix -tra-,
which generally serves to form the neuter nouns for instruments.
In Vedic, mitra- has two genders, masculine as the name of the god
and neuter in the sense of 'friendship, contract'. Meillet, in a famous
article (Journal Asiatique, 1907) defined Mitra as a divinized social
8o
Hospitality
force, as the personified contract. But both 'friendship' and 'contract'
may be given further precision by siting them in their context: what
is concerned is not sentimental friendship but a contract in so far as it
rests on an exchange. To make clear these notions as they were practised
and lived in ancient society, we may recall a Homeric scene which
gives what might be called a 'sociological' illustration. It is the
celebrated episode of the sixth book of the Iliad, lines 120-236.
Glaucus and Diomedes, face to face, are trying to identify each
other and discover that their fathers are bound by the bonds of
hospitality (174). Diomedes defines his own position vis-a-vis
Glaucus:
'Yes, you are for me an hereditary guest (xe£nos) and that for a long
time ( 215) ... thus I am your host in the heart of the Argolid and
you are mine in Lycia, the day when I shall go to that country.
From now on we shall both avoid each other's javelin (224-226)., ..
Let us rather exchange our weapons so that everyone may know
here that we declare ourselves to be hereditary guests' (230-231).
This situation gives each of the contracting parties rights of
greater force than the common national interest. These rights are in
principle hereditary, but should be periodically renewed by means
of gifts and exchanges so that they remain personal: it is for this
reason that the participants propose to exchange arms. 'Having
thus spoken, they leap from their chariots, take each other by the
hand and pledge their faith. But at that moment Zeus ... stole
away Glaucos' reason because in exchanging arms with Diomedes ...
he gives him gold in exchange for bronze, the value of one hundred
oxen in exchange for nine' (232-236).
Thus the bard sees here a fool's deal. In reality the inequality of
value between the gifts is intentional: one offers bronze arms, the
other gives back arms of gold; one offers the value of nine oxen, the
other feels himself bound to render the value of one hundred head
of cattle.
This episode serves to throw light on the manifestations which in
this society accompany the type of engagement which we call a
'contract', and to restore its proper value to a term like Skt. mitra-.
Such is the mitra- between Diomedes and Glaucus, an exchange which
is binding and contractual. It also makes clear the formal analysis of
the term. This suffix -tra- may form an agent noun as well as an
instrumental one, the grammatical gender varying according to
81
Giving and Taking
whether the action is the work of an instrument or a man: hence we
have along with the neuter mitram, the masculine mitras. We might
examine mythology and try to discover in the role of Mitra the
survivals of its etymological origin. But first we must extend the
inventory of notions which were formed from the same root and
which are related to those which we have been studying. Closely
related to *mei- is a form *mei-t- with the suffix -t-, which appears in
the Latin verb milto 'change', 'exchange'. The signification may be
more precisely delimited if it is compared with the adjective mutuus
'reciprocal, mutual'. We must also consider a particular use of the
adjective: mutua peciinia 'money lent or borrowed', as well as the verb
derived from the adjective as thus used, mutuare 'borrow', i.e. to take
money with the obligation to repay it. Thus 'loan' and 'borrowing'
enter in their turn into the cycle of exchange. This is not the end of
the matter. 'Exchange' here has a close affinity with the 'gift'. The
Gothic correspondent of the Latin from muto, mutuus is maidjan
'exchange'. Now the derived noun maijmzs (from *mait-mo-) translates
the Greek d8ron 'gift', but in a passage where it implies 'recovery' and
to a certain extent 'exchange'.
The other derivatives are divided into:
1) one group with a specialized sense, e.g. Skt. mithu- 'false, lie',
as with Latin muto, the idea of'changing' leads to that of'altering'.
When we say of somebody that he has altered, this is rarely to his
advantage.
2) A series of other derivatives, however, preserve the proper
sense. This is particularly so in Iranian: e.g. Avestan miOwara-
'paired'; maeOman- < *mei-t-men 'pairing'. A development of a social
character gives to maeOman the sense of 'mutuality', and this leads to
the designation of the 'guest' in Middle and Modern Iranian by
mehmiin < *maeOmiinam (accusative), which by a long detour brings us
back to our starting point. Once again we end up by defining the
'guest' by the notion of mutuality and the bonds ofreciprocity.
1
There is another term for the 'guest' in modern Iranian: ermiin, the
ancient form of which is attested as aryaman 'intimate friend', a term
well known in Indo-Iranian. This is also the name of a mythological
figure, the name of a god. Aryaman is the god of hospitality. In the
Rig Veda, as in the Atharva, he is especially associated with marriage.
In whatever way we interpret the formative -man (this must be a
1
On the root mei- see our article 'Don et echange ... 'quoted above.
Hospitality
nominal form), the name of the god Aryaman is connected with the
term arya. We shall see later in this work that arya is the common and
reciprocal term used by members of a community to designate
themselves. It is the name for a man of the same language and the
same race. This explains why one of Aryaman' s functions was to admit
individuals into an exogamic community, called 'Aryan', through a
marriage ceremony: it is a kind of internal hospitality, a tribal
alliance. Aryaman intervenes when a woman taken from outside the
clan is introduced for the first time as a wife into her new family.
Aryaman later came to be used in a number of different senses. The
Persian ermiin 'guest' has been quoted above. In the language of the
Ossetes, an Iranian people occupying an enclave in the Caucasus
with institutions and vocabulary of great antiquity, the word limiin
means 'friend', and this is the regular phonetic development of
aryaman. The bonds of relationship, of family and tribal friendship,
are redefined in each language according as the terminology remains
fixed or evolves. These terms, far removed from one another, came
back to the same problem; that of institutions of welcoming and
reciprocity, thanks to which the men of a given people find hospitality
in another, and whereby societies enter into alliances and exchanges.
We have found a profound relationship between these institutional
forms and a recurrence of the same notions behind a terminology
which is sometimes refashioned.

LEGE: LlBHARY CHESTNUT HILL. printed or written or oral.~. p BOSTON C'OI. was published by Les Editions de Minuit. 73-77II9 ISBN o-87024-250-4 All rights reserved. or by any electronic or mechanical device.ss. unless permission in writing is obtained from the copyright proprietors. or recording for sound or visual reproduction or for use in any knowledge or retrieval system or device. Paris Copyright© 1969. j 5:1!JBZG Manufactured in Great Britain . Publishers Published 1973 by University of Miami Press Library of Congress Catalog Card No. including the making of copies by any photo process.. lHi>. under the title Le vocabulaire des institutions Indo-Europeennes. including rights of reproduction and use in any form or by any means. Les Editions de Minuit This translation Copyright© 1973 by Faber and Faber Ltd.The original French version.

Chapter 7 HOSPITALITY In Latin 'guest' is called hostis and hospes < *hosti-pet-. 2) The primitive notion conveyed by hostis is that ofequality by compensation: a hostis is one who repays my gift by a counter-gift. What is the meaning of these elements? What is the meaning cif the compound? I) -pet-. -pte. The vocabulary of Indo-European institutions throws up some important problems. the personification ofa reciprocal contract (as illustrated in Iliad VI. Skt. !. one cif the forms cif which is reception by marriage. which may perhaps be interpreted as arising from an abstract noun hosti 'hospitality' and consequently meant 'he who predominantly personifies hospitality'. designated the person who personified thefamily group par excellence. not yet been posed. I 2o-246). despite the morphological difference. Av. mithu. like dominus. in some cases.in the Latinmiituus. erman < aryaman. 3) Because cifthis Latin coined a new name for 'guest': *hosti-pet-.(Lat. and -pt. In the family group (dem-) it is the master who is eminently 'himself' (ipsissimus. Latin hostis at one period denoted the guest. The classical meaning 'enemy' must have developed when reciprocal relations between clans were succeeded by the exclusive relations cif civitas to civitas (if. *mei-t. links up with a very special kind cif 'hospitality' within a group cif the Arya. especially those based on the root *mei-. Lat. The study of a certain number of expressions relating to exchange. the traces ofwhich we can barely glimpse in the vocabulary of this or that language. pati}:l). likewise.'changed (falsely)'> 'lie'. Gr. the terms of which have. despotes. Another word for 'guest' in modern Iranian. means the master). in Plautus. xenos 'guest'> 'stranger'). like the Latin miinus 'an honorific post implying an obligation to reciprocate'. Gr. potis (Gr. which also appears in the forms pot-. Thus. Skr. 71 . desp6tes. We become aware of their existence and even partly create the object of our study by examining words which reveal the existence of an institution.-Jr. potis. Mitra. is hospitality itself. mi6wara 'pair' also leads us to a word for 'guest': mehman in middle and modern Iranian. like its Gothic counterpart. i-pse?) originally meant personal identity. gasts.

In Latin an extensive word family is organized around the word *potis either as a free form or in composition. (master of the clan) jiis . It offers no form corresponding to *potis. It presents itself in its simple aspect in Sanskrit pdtil) 'master' and 'husband' and in Greek posis 'husband'. -pet (-pit). But the sense 'oneself' is also well attested. Here Hittite makes an important new contribution. The term *potis first merits a brief explanation in its own right. whence in marriage 'husband'. but this is a development peculiar to Sanskrit.Giving and Taking One group of words refers to a well established social phenomenon. These facts are well known. his'. and used without distinction of person 'mine. a noun. like the Sanskrit correspondent ddm pdtil). possum. Under what conditions can a word denoting 'master' end up by signifying identity? The primary sense of *potis is well defined. we find in Iranian the compound adjective xvae-paiOya 'one's own'. Despite the early date at which it appears. so that the literal sense of hospes is 'the guest-master'. which itself is formed from the adjective potis in a predicative use: potis sum. literally 'of oneself' and -paiOya derived from the ancient *poti-. the sense of which is 'precisely (him)self'. he is the one who takes him. whereas the feminine despoina conveys the idea of 'mistress'. In order to understand it better we must analyse the two elements potis and hostis separately and study their etymological connexions. of his senses' and the verb *potire. Once the sense. dam pdtil. 'that one precisely. yours. it is distinct from despotis. The Greek term despotis. As for Gr. An analysis of its component elements illuminates two distinct notions which finally link up: hospes goes back to *hosti-pet-s. a particle of identity referring to the object under discussion.t (master of the house) vis . an expression which is simplified to possum. like the Hittite -pet.. survives incorporated into the conjugation of the verb meaning 'be able'.which signifies 'master'. despotes is solely an expression of power. whether as adjective or substantive. clan. pate est. The interesting point in the present connexion is that Hittite presents an enclitic particle. where the sense 'master of the house' is no longer felt. It is evident that the use of this particle corresponds to the sense of identity of *potis found in Lithuanian and in Iranian. a title of majesty. the Latin hospes. It has. The basic term. a poetical word for 'husband'. the same function whether attached to a demonstrative. or even a verb. the only one attested in a number of languages is the compound which is in Sanskrit viS-pdtil) and in Lithuanian vls-pats 'clan chief'. each of which had as its first element the name of a social unit of variable extension: Hospitality All this is clear and there would be no problem. The Lithuanian particle pat signifies 'exactly. the sense being constant and the forms superimposable. is an ancient compound. had not *potis at two points of the Indo-European world developed a very different sense. precisely'. In this demonstrative apas-pit. With this may be compared 73 . Many notions now are conveyed by new terms. the one who brings him back. we discover elsewhere other forms which can be linked with them in all probability. but they deserve careful scrutiny because of the singularity of the problem which they pose. the concept of the 'guest'. or in social terminology the 'chief' of some unit. the perfect of which. potui. In Lithuanian it provides the adjective pats 'himself' and also the substantive pats 'master' (in composition vls-pats). hospitality. xvae is an Iranian form of the ancient reflexive pronoun *swe. compos 'who is not . one's own.' takku IR-is huwai nas kururi KURe paizzi kuisan EGIR-pa uwatezzi nanzan a p a s p i t dai. and it had a strong force: 'master'. Hittite has a vocabulary which has already been transformed to a considerable extent. belongs with a group of ancient compound words. potest. *se. The second component alternates with pot. (master of the 'lineage') Apart from despotis and dam pdtil). or tribe. An example is the following: 'If a slave flees. whether house. the form and the use is established in these languages. In Sanskrit the distinct senses 'master' and 'husband' correspond to different declensions of one and the same stem. incidentally.' or 'who is master of himself. 'of oneself'. that very one'. Apart from hospes it forms the adjectives impos. Parallel to this. posis. This is a rather peculiar designation. and if he goes to an enemy country. the particle -pit establishes a relation of identity. . or in composition as in despotis.

in peasant speech. In Russian. could acquire the sense of master. already marks the appearance of a sense of 'to be able to'. the two series link up: on the one hand by means of a suffix. contracted to potest. 'chief of the people'. I can' . Utpote emphatically identifies the action with its agent. in Latin we have the adjective compos 'he who is master. 'stranger. we can establish the survival of a use of *pot. with pate marking the identity. A further example. the analysis of which must be rectified. 3orff. which describes the 'possessor' as somebody who is established on something. We may also add the Latin postposition -pte in suopte (Festus: suopte pro suo ipsius) 'his very own. 74 75 . but this is less certain. hostis. The notion 'favourable stranger' developed to 'guest'. if we confine ourselves to the two Latin facts and to the Lithuanian pat. autos ephii (1Xu-ro~ ~q>1X) 'he himself has said it'. on the other by a compound word. *druhtins (0 H G truhtin) 'chief of the body'. Latin has formed from the same root an equivalent expression. what was considered as an isolated use becomes an important indication and reveals to us the proper signification ofpotis. and to assign to him the possession of a predicate affirmed in the sentence. who has command of himself'. 1 It is worth while pausing for a moment to consider a peculiar fact: as against Skt.potest 'I am capable. formed like hospes. sam 'himself' refers to the 'lord'. this time in order to study the initial term. In the first place. in Gothic kindins ( < *genti-nos) 'chief of the gens'. 2-3. and the formula was used to specify a dictum as authentic. Thus tribunus 'chief of the tribe'. piudans < *teuta-nos 'king'. despotes. a secondary derivative which belongs to a series of expressions for 'chief'. In Danish. potior 'to have power over something. In fact. the signification of 1 For the semantic study ofpot(i)-. in Plautus. But the meaning of Gothic gasts and OSI. For an adjective meaning 'himself' to develop into the meaning 'master' there is one necessary condition: there must be a circle of persons subordinated to a central personage who assumes the personality and complete identity of the group to such an extent that . ipsissimus indicates the 'master (mistress). Pythagoras. Word X. the term for the master has been coined from the social unit which he represents. Lat. the patron'. the only one who is important. and Problemes de linguistique generate. This is exactly the development we find in the compound *dempot (i). In a restricted but important community. the (personage) himself. signifying 'himself'. has furnished in Latin and Germanic expressions for chiefs of political and military groups. Thus. Among the expressions common to the prehistoric vocabulary of the European languages it is ofspecial interest: hostis in Latin corresponds to gasts of Gothic and to gosti of Old Slavonic. among the Pythagoreans. dam pati and Gr. A verb derived from *poti-. utpote. and they demand precision by interpretation in their historical and social contexts. pp. In any case. which illustrates the formation of an institutional concept. by independent paths. he is its summation: in his own person he is its incarnation. han sjelv and in German er selbst have the same meaning. With this may be Hospitality compared the Latin verb possidere. 1954. We must return now to the compound which provoked this analysis. In spoken Latin. It does not mean etymologically 'as is possible' (with the pate of pate est) but 'precisely in as much'. it is easy to understand how an adjective denoting the identity of a person. reference may be made to our article 'Problemes semantiques de Ia reconstruction'. the predicate with the person who assumes it. which gives rise to the conjugation possum. This morphological process whereby *-nos is suffixed to the name of a social unit. can be corroborated elsewhere: several languages have come to designate 'the master' by a term meaning 'himself'. Gallimard xg66.Giving and Taking Lat. a sense which is still attested in Latin. The role of the person so named is not to give orders but to assume a representation which gives him authority over the family as a whole with which he is identified. 'possess'. pdtyate. hospes. which also presents gos-podi 'master'. This process. Accordingly. have something at one's disposal'. is the mysterious -pse of ipse. The same figurative expression has passed into the German word 'besitzen'. The notion of 'power' (theoretical) is thus constituted and it receives its verbal form from the predicative expression pate est. like Skt. Again. whereas that of Latin hostis is 'enemy'.to designate the person himself. stemming from *potsedere. with autos referred to the 'master' par excellence. To explain the connexion between 'guest' and 'enemy' it is usually supposed that both derived their meaning from 'stranger'. enemy. guest' are global notions of a somewhat vague character. While it is difficult to see how a word meaning 'the master' could become so weakened in force as to signify 'himself'. Nos. but by a different procedure: this is dominus. what belongs to that very person'. that of 'hostile stranger' to 'enemy'.'master of the house'. gosti is 'guest'.

Annie sociologique. The notion of'hospitality' is illuminated by reference to potlach. It is at the same time a feast connected with certain dates and cults. Of the word hostis itself. is connected with the same family: its real sense is 'the victim which serves to appease the anger of the gods'. In some way the product is considered as a counterpart.g. apart from hostis. Here we are helped by the Latin authors themselves who furnish a series of words of the same family and also some instructive examples of the use of the term hostis. of which it is a weakened form. This type of relationship between individuals or groups cannot fail to invoke the notion of potlach. This system which is known from the Indians of Northwest America consists of a series of gifts and counter-gifts. R. all attest or confirm that the first sense is aequare 'compensate. We have to proceed from the equivalence of hostire = aequare. and· herein lies the distinction which distinguishes hostia from victima in Roman ritual. does the notion of hostility appear. is employed in the same sense as in classical Latin.: adversus hostem aeterna auctoritas est(o). with the exception of the verb 'to be'. knew a Dea Hostilina. 24. It preserved its ancient value of 'stranger' in the law of the Twelve Tables.. 3 77).x 7t<Xp' eK&L\IOU (Herodotus III.x). so well described and interpreted by Marcel Mauss in his monograph on 'le Don. as you deserve' (Asin. an archaic term of the language of agriculture~ cited and explained by Varro. In contrast to the peregrinus. It must be understood as 'vis-a-vis a stranger. 3: hostum vacant quod ex uno facto olei reficitur 'one calls hostus the amount of oil obtained in one single pressing operation'. It recurs in the noun hostimentum. according to S. Augustine. placed under the protection of Zeus Xenios. ancient expressions of the religious language or of rural vocabulary. and one said hostire for aequare'. This recognition of rights implies a certain relation of reciprocity and supposes an agreement or compact. a claim for property persists forever'. no word of which. 1924. A bond of equality and reciprocity is established between this particular stranger and the citizens of Rome. A hostis is not a stranger in general. I. while the derivative redhostire is glossed as 'referre gratiam' ('repay a kindness') in Festus. each gift always creating an obligation of a superior gift from the partner. e. The xenia (~s:v(. From this point of view hostis will signify 'he who stands in a compensatory relationship' and this is precisely the foundation of the institution of hospitality. It follows from this note that hostis is neither the stranger nor the enemy. forme primitive de l'echange'. hence it denotes a compensatory offering. it never lapses when it is against a foreigner that the claim is introduced. in virtue of a sort of compelling force. Hospitality How does hostis itself fit in with this? This emerges from the definition of Festus already cited: 'quod erant pari iure cum populo Romano'.). hostis is 'the stranger in so far as he is recognized as enjoying equal rights to those of the Roman citizens'. Primary or derived nouns. in so far as it secures circulation of wealth.7t(1)\l awp<X K<XL as:K6!J.Giving and Taking Jwstis must be narrowed down. explained as 'beneficii pensatio'. and it is also a bond between families. It is also an economic phenomenon.). a stick for use with a bushel measure so as to keep a constant level.. To a more specialized technique belongs hostus. The old Roman pantheon. This sense of hostire is still attested in Plautus: Promitto hostire contra ut merueris 'I promise you a reciprocal service. Kings as well as private people act in this way: '(Polycrates) had concluded a xenia (with Amasis) and they sent each other presents' ~&\IL"I)\1 cruvs:6~K<X't"O (verb of making a compact) 7te!J. who declare their intention of binding their descendants by this pact. 'equalization'. a fact which may lead to a precise notion of hospitality. This defines the relation of hostis and hostire: 'the hastes had the same rights as the Romans'. Another technical term is hostorium. tribes and even their descendants.R. Festus says: eius enim generis ab antiquis hostes appellabantur quod erant pari iure cum populo Romano. Not all non-Romans are called hostis. equalize'. It is a striking fact that in none of these words. who lived outside the boundaries of the territory. atque hostire ponebatur pro aequare 'in ancient times they were called hastes because they had the same rights as the Roman people. Finally. a very well-known word. It is founded on the idea that a man is bound to another (hostis always involves the notion of reciprocity) by the obligation to compensate a gift or service from which he has benefited. hostia. consists of the exchange of gifts between the contracting parties.&VO~ IJ. who had as her task to equalize the ears of corn or to ensure that the work accomplished was exactly compensated by the harvest. verbs or adjectives. 39)· 77 . The same institution exists in the Greek world under a different name: xlnos (~evo~) indicates relations of the same type between men bound by a pact which implies precise obligations that also devolve on their descendants. 'compensation of a benefit' and also 'aequamentum'.

Skt. the notion of hospitality was expressed by a different term in which the ancient hostis nevertheless persists. Xenophon wanted to conclude arrangements for the food supplies of his army. In Sanskrit.. cf. All the ancient compounds in -poti. or with guma 'man'. One of the Indo-European expressions of this institution is precisely the Latin term hostis. 1921) finds an example of the same custom among the Thracians. XVII) in pignus. X. Soc. 10). like in the German Brautigam. Sitalkes: for him it is more shameful not to give when one is asked to do so than not to receive when one has asked. German gemein 'common'. public office' expressed by munus be associated with that of 'exchange' indicated by the root? Festus shows us the way by defining munus as 'donum quod officii causa datur' (a gift made for the sake of an officium). rek-na}J 'heritage'. Mere. the guest (the one received) is the xlnos and he who receives is the xenodokhos (~evo~6x. Now if the system of compensation is active within one and the same circle. If munus is a gift carrying the obligation of an exchange. later became simply the 'stranger'. The semantic mechanism described for hostis has a parallel in another order of ideas and another series ofwords. refer to notions of a social character. clan and clan. vol. especially for games and spectacles. atithi 'guest' has as its correlate atithi-pati 'he who receives'. Thus the history of hostis recapitulates the change brought about in Roman institutions.Giving and Taking Mauss (Revue des Etudes grecques. The last has a parallel in Gothic: ga-mains. In fact.finus. this system of obligation was still preserved in its full force. so well characterized as 'guest' in Homer. the German equivalent of which is Brautigam 'bridegroom'.facinus. Thucydides (II. are abolished. he has only to give presents to King Seuthes and he would give him more in return (Anabasis VII. benefits'. -pot. the word hostis assumed a 'hostile' flavour and henceforward it is only applied to the 'enemy'. The formation is parallel to that of Latin hospes. In Greek. The notion of'exchange' is implied by this. immunis. All that persists is the distinction between what is inside and outside the civitas. In historical times the custom had lost its force in the Roman world: it presupposes a type of relationship which was no longer compatible with the established regime. Another proof of this is the Gothic brilp-japs 'newly married man. In nominating somebody as a magistrate one confers on him honour and certain advantages. this determines a 'community'.o~). As we have seen. But how can the notion of 'charge. ni-mayate 'he exchanges' and especially the Latin term munus (<*moi-nos. 3. all words which.have in effect as their first element a general word designating a group: thus *dems-poti. Hospitality hospes as the incarnation of hospitality. the archaic form moenus). This word is characterized by the suffix -nes. communis. 97) gives much the same testimony apropos ofanother Thracian king. In this way we can better understand the affinity betweengratus and munis (Plautus. a lawsuit against a 'stranger' who tries to pass for a citizen.funus. A royal councillor tells him that if he wants to remain in Thrace and enjoy great wealth. the value of which was determined by Meillet (Mlm. In the civilization ofThrace. In Attic law there is a graphi xenia. We thus understand better the literal sense of *ghosti-pets. VU(. This obliges him in return to counter-service in the form of expenditure. When an ancient society becomes a nation. By a development of which we do not know the exact conditions. This is confirmed in Celtic by Irl. From it are derived several adjectives: munis. Consequently communis does not mean 'he who shares the duties' but really 'he who has munia in common'. a group of persons united by this bond of reciprocity. dag-moini 'presents. In the same way xlnos. 105). 'exchange'. It looks like an abstract word in -ti which has become a personal qualification. It concerns those which come from the root *mei-. with its Gothic correspondent gasts and Slavic gospodi. From brup 'newly married woman' was created the corresponding designation for the 'newly married man'. In this way we link up with the above definition ofpotis. etc. But xlnos did not evolve the sense of 'enemy' as did hostis in Latin. The one who receives is not the 'master' of his guest. like munus. a public office'. cf also Skt. 79 . the nonnational.r. main (main) 'precious objects'.did not have originally the meaning of 'master'. among the duties of a magistrate munus denotes spectacles and games. responsibility. The formation of *ghosti.L~Lo~'. either with *potis as in Gothic brup-fajJs. but in a composition with *pot(i)s: this is hospes < *hostipefot-s. jiis-pati. immunis is he who does not fulfil his obligation to make due return. which seems to have been rather archaic. and the archaic sense of immunis as 'ingratus' (that is to say one who fails to make return for a benefit).(hostis) deserves attention. Ling. In fact munus has the sense of'duty. the relations between man and man. As a consequence.

It is the celebrated episode of the sixth book of the Iliad. In Oscan an abstract *ai-ti. in historical times the notion of 'give' is everywhere attached precisely to the form of *do-. mitra. one offers the value of nine oxen. for it is within this precise and technical framework that these terms find their unity and proper relations. we may recall a Homeric scene which gives what might be called a 'sociological' illustration. the grammatical gender varying according to 81 . Glaucus and Diomedes. 'Having thus spoken. he gives him gold in exchange for bronze. Diomedes defines his own position vis-a-vis Glaucus: 'Yes..between Diomedes and Glaucus. face to face.has two genders. and to restore its proper value to a term like Skt. A further question now arises: is there no simple expression for 'gift' which does not call for a return? The answer is already given. which generally serves to form the neuter nouns for instruments. This episode serves to throw light on the manifestations which in this society accompany the type of engagement which we call a 'contract'. Finally. donum. if would be difficult to grasp the meaning of the terms which refer to it. . they leap from their chariots.may form an agent noun as well as an instrumental one. Returning now to the words belonging to the etymological family represented in Latin by milnus. This is a divine personification. the other gives back arms of gold. the Indo-Iranian god Mitra.. If we did not have the model of this institution. as we have seen above (p. we can pick out in Indo-Iranian a derivative of considerable importance and peculiar formation. that the etymological prehistory of *do. Greek d8ron. immunis.. 54). But at that moment Zeus .'part' is attested by the genitive singular aeteis. If in Greek the term d8ron does not indicate in itself and unequivocally 'gift' without reciprocity. To make clear these notions as they were practised and lived in ancient society. take each other by the hand and pledge their faith. But both 'friendship' and 'contract' may be given further precision by siting them in their context: what is concerned is not sentimental friendship but a contract in so far as it rests on an exchange. Such is the mitra. share'. which corresponds in meaning to the Latin genitive partis. Meillet. From it is derived the verb ai-tsi 'give' in Tokharian. This situation gives each of the contracting parties rights of greater force than the common national interest. Here we have evidence for a new expression for 'give' conceived as 'assigning a portion'. 1907) defined Mitra as a divinized social 8o Hospitality force. the day when I shall go to that country. like milnus. It emerges from a previous study: there exists an Indo-European root. an exchange which is binding and contractual. thus I am your host in the heart of the Argolid and you are mine in Lycia. are trying to identify each other and discover that their fathers are bound by the bonds of hospitality (174).. the meaning of the adverb doredn 'gratuitously. This suffix -tra. lines 120-236. Illyrian onomastics presents us with the proper name Aetor. with the suffix -tra-.Giving and Taking Thus the complex mechanism of gifts which provoke countergifts by a kind of compelling force finds one more expression among the terms derived from the root *mei-. mitra-.to ai-) 'give'. you are for me an hereditary guest (xe£nos) and that for a long time (215) . for nothing' is sufficient guarantee that the 'gift' is really a disinterested one.is by no means straightforward but is a criss-cross of apparently contradictory facts.. the other feels himself bound to render the value of one hundred head of cattle. as the personified contract. It is true.. but should be periodically renewed by means of gifts and exchanges so that they remain personal: it is for this reason that the participants propose to exchange arms. We must further mention forms stemming from another root which is little known and represented but which must be re-established in its importance and antiquity: this is the root *ai-. From now on we shall both avoid each other's javelin (224-226).. These rights are in principle hereditary. stole away Glaucos' reason because in exchanging arms with Diomedes . In reality the inequality of value between the gifts is intentional: one offers bronze arms. Greek has preserved a nominal form atsa (oclcroc) 'lot. formed from *mei-. masculine as the name of the god and neuter in the sense of 'friendship. contract'. In Vedic.(formed by attachment of the preverb pe. Let us rather exchange our weapons so that everyone may know here that we declare ourselves to be hereditary guests' (230-231). the value of one hundred oxen in exchange for nine' (232-236). communis. that of Latin do. Thus the bard sees here a fool's deal. as well as the Hittite pai. It also makes clear the formal analysis of the term. in a reduced form. in a famous article (Journal Asiatique. Nevertheless.. which is the agent noun from this same root ai-. and in each of the languages (except Hittite) it gives rise to parallel formations.

The signification may be more precisely delimited if it is compared with the adjective mutuus 'reciprocal. came back to the same problem. Avestan miOwara'paired'. the idea of'changing' leads to that of'altering'. 'quoted above. In whatever way we interpret the formative -man (this must be a 1 On the root mei. These terms. This is also the name of a mythological figure. The bonds of relationship. a tribal alliance. he is especially associated with marriage. a term well known in Indo-Iranian. This is not the end of the matter. called 'Aryan'. . In the Rig Veda. the name of the god Aryaman is connected with the term arya. preserve the proper sense.< *mei-t-men 'pairing'.. are redefined in each language according as the terminology remains fixed or evolves. This explains why one of Aryaman's functions was to admit individuals into an exogamic community. mithu. e. as in the Atharva. however. Once again we end up by defining the 'guest' by the notion of mutuality and the bonds ofreciprocity. lie'. But first we must extend the inventory of notions which were formed from the same root and which are related to those which we have been studying. This is particularly so in Iranian: e. of family and tribal friendship. Aryaman intervenes when a woman taken from outside the clan is introduced for the first time as a wife into her new family. The other derivatives are divided into: 1) one group with a specialized sense. this is rarely to his advantage. It is the name for a man of the same language and the same race. i. mutuare 'borrow'.see our article 'Don et echange .g. A development of a social character gives to maeOman the sense of 'mutuality'. 2) A series of other derivatives. In the language of the Ossetes. We must also consider a particular use of the adjective: mutua peciinia 'money lent or borrowed'. as with Latin muto. an Iranian people occupying an enclave in the Caucasus with institutions and vocabulary of great antiquity. We shall see later in this work that arya is the common and reciprocal term used by members of a community to designate themselves. the name of a god. and this leads to the designation of the 'guest' in Middle and Modern Iranian by mehmiin < *maeOmiinam (accusative). The Gothic correspondent of the Latin from muto.e. through a marriage ceremony: it is a kind of internal hospitality. and this is the regular phonetic development of aryaman. Thus 'loan' and 'borrowing' enter in their turn into the cycle of exchange. We have found a profound relationship between these institutional forms and a recurrence of the same notions behind a terminology which is sometimes refashioned. the word limiin means 'friend'. that of institutions of welcoming and reciprocity. the ancient form of which is attested as aryaman 'intimate friend'.is a form *mei-t. which by a long detour brings us back to our starting point. Closely related to *mei. 1 There is another term for the 'guest' in modern Iranian: ermiin. thanks to which the men of a given people find hospitality in another. The Persian ermiin 'guest' has been quoted above. and whereby societies enter into alliances and exchanges. Skt.Giving and Taking whether the action is the work of an instrument or a man: hence we have along with the neuter mitram. 'Exchange' here has a close affinity with the 'gift'. Hospitality nominal form)..with the suffix -t-. We might examine mythology and try to discover in the role of Mitra the survivals of its etymological origin. maeOman. the masculine mitras. When we say of somebody that he has altered. far removed from one another. mutual'. 'exchange'. Aryaman is the god of hospitality.'false. Now the derived noun maijmzs (from *mait-mo-) translates the Greek d8ron 'gift'. Aryaman later came to be used in a number ofdifferent senses.g. as well as the verb derived from the adjective as thus used. but in a passage where it implies 'recovery' and to a certain extent 'exchange'. mutuus is maidjan 'exchange'. to take money with the obligation to repay it. which appears in the Latin verb milto 'change'.

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