The etymology of the term "host" in the Eucharist.

I'm currently writing a short paper on Donne's sacramental poetics, and I've got a question about the term "host" (in the Eucharist) and its Latin root. The term "host" is derived from Latin "hostia," meaning victim or sacrifice. But what is its root word exactly? Is it, as some say, "hos"? And if so, does the term "host" have some etymological link with hospes and hospitalia? I looked up the word in OED, but I didn't find as much as I wanted. Thank you!

The Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages by Michiel de Vaan doesn't have a separate entry for hostia, but the entry for hostus ("the yield of olives from a single pressing") says that hostia is derived from hostus. It refers to an essay by Heiner Eichner which "suggests that hostire ('to recompense, requite') was derived directly from hostus, and explains hostia as the substantivized form of an adjective *hostius 'substitute' (e.g. in *hostia ovis) which was formed on the basis of hostus. . . . Eichner derives the Latin words from a Proto-Indo-European root *ghes 'to take, give in exchange', with which he connects the word for 'hand' (Proto-Indo-European *ghes-r), and Greek xenos, 'foreign' guest' < *ghs-en-uo-."

The Eichner article is titled "Lateinisch hostia, hostus, hostire und die stellvertretende Tiertotung der Hethiter." It's contained in a collection of essays titled Novalis Indogermanica: Festschrift fur Gunther Neumann zum 80. Geburtstag (Graz: Leykam), edited by Matthias Fritz and Susanne Zeilfelder.

If you don't read German, the Eichner article may also cite English-language sources.



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