HospitAm Project

Welcome to the Carnet Hypothèses of HospitAm!

This carnet Hypothèses constitutes the online diffusion page of the “Projet HospitAm” (Hospitalités dans l’Antiquité méditerranéenne : sources, enjeux, pratiques, discours), emerging project of the École normale supérieure de Lyon co-organized by Claire Fauchon-Claudon (ENS de Lyon – UMR 5189 HiSoMA) and Marie-Adeline Le Guennec (EFR), whose objective is to explore the concept of hospitality in the Ancient Mediterranean.

Carte du monde d’Homère, composée et dessinée par M.O. Mac Carthy (1849)

Hospitality networks indeed played a crucial role in the organization and control of mobility around the Ancient Mediterranean basin. Hence, the project examines the various forms of hospitality attested in this context (civic or religious hospitality, professional or family solidarity, or even altruistic welcoming of the stranger), whether this notion may be understood in its general sense of free reception practice or may be specifically embodied in hosting conventions between individuals and / or groups. It focuses on the Greek (archaïc, classical and hellenistic periods) and Roman (from the origin to Late Antiquity in its transition to High Middle Ages) worlds and sheds light on less familiar contexts such as Ancient Egypt, Middle-East or India. Besides, this project aims at more theoretical issues whose innovative character must be underlined: through a constant dialogue between historical and social sciences, the comparative approach of the project explores the epistemological pertinence of the Braudelian notion of Mediterranean invariant for hospitality. In this perspective, we examine the definitions and possible specificities of ancient hospitality / hospitalities, per se and in the light of the various developments that this concept has known through history, from the medieval hospitalia to the coachsurfing of the 2000s and until the most contemporary migrants crisis, a dramatic phenomenon which shows the absolute necessity of a diachronic reflection on hospitality.

The carnet Hypothèses of HospitAm exposes the various contributions, discussions and field research presented during the thematic workshops and seminars on Ancient Mediterranean hospitality which constitute the basis of the project; it includes additional contents (reading notes, reviews, essays) and organizes a scientific monitoring of events, bibliographic novelties and current research pertaining to hospitality in the Ancient Mediterranean basin.

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