the famous cretan hospitality
At some point it was rumored that Zeus the Great, the master of the ancient pantheon, who was born in the Diktean Cave, and was brought up in the mountain of Idi, had died and had been buried at his place of birth, Crete.
True to Zeus, the poet of Hellenistic times, Kalimahos from Alexandria, dedicates a hymn in which he strongly refutes the unacceptable, in his opinion, story:
"…Oh father… The Cretans have always been liars. But why have they gone as far as in the grave, Oh King, to bury you. But you have not died, you are immortal."
Indeed the Cretans were lying. It is irrefutable, however, that they had their reasons for wanting their grand God to die, reasons that no one else could comprehend: a God who is the embodiment of nature is a God who dies every year and is reborn even stronger with the blossoming spring….
Similarly, Zeus, born and raised in Crete, dies and is resurrected, lives and reigns. It is also self-explanatory that he who is in harmony with nature and lives at her pace cannot but respect, love and accept her offspring.
In this way the Zeus of Crete becomes Xenios, the protector of visitors, who generously offers his hospitality to every stranger who wishes to honour his sacred land.
Besides hospitality, two other principles also dominate in the soul of each Cretan: virtue and honour, while in the hierarchy of ethical values the highest position is held by friendship, second only to family.
The Cretan soul often reaches the point of exaggeration in their valour and passion for freedom, their courage, strength, love for their country and nature even in their hospitality towards strangers. Nothing belongs to the Cretan.
His home is all of the Cretan land and none of it has any boundaries.
With joy and pride he recognizes that he himself is also a guest of honour in the castle of his generous father, Xenios Zeus, the Cretan born.