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did not come into existence in Greece until the times when, in consequence of the increase of traffic, the custom of hospitality, which was formerly practised on an extensive scale, became more and more confined to cases where it was either inherited or was the subject of special agreement on both sides. Besides private inns (pandokeia), which offered food as well as shelter to strangers, public inns, which at least gave shelter and night-quarters, were to be found in some places, especially where great crowds of men were accustomed to assemble for the celebration of festivals, and also near temples which were much visited. The profession of an inn-keeper was little esteemed, still less that of a tavern-keeper, whose bar (kapeleion) it was not considered proper for respectable people to frequent [Isocr., Areop. 49]; in Athens a visit to a tavern was even sufficient to lead to expulsion from the Areopagus. In Rome, as in most parts of Italy, there were inns for travellers (deversoria) at least as early as the 2nd century B.C. On the great high-roads taverns were built on speculation by landowners resident in the neighbourhood, and were either let out, or kept for them by slaves. With the increase of traffic, stations for changing horses (mutatio) and for night-quarters (mansio) began to be placed on the high-roads of all the provinces. Cook-shops (popinoe) and taverns (cauponoe) were seldom frequented by any but the commonest people. Those who kept them were just as much despised as in Greece, and were actually considered by the law as under a ban. Even in antiquity it was the custom to make inns known by a sign-board (insigne). Thus in Pompeii an inn has been discovered with the sign of an elephant.
Type: Standard
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