Fundamental to the best practice and utilisation of beds in xenônes and hospitals alike, in contrast to long-stay institutions, are the controlled admission and discharge of patients. It is so obvious that it is taken for granted, but the lack of evidence about the admission of patients to xenônes and their discharge prevents any assessment of how well they were used. 1 Were hospitals of this time usually fully occupied or only sporadically occupied? What affections or trauma warranted admission to a xenôn ? Were the sick whose condition warranted admission allowed to enter on presentation at the doors of the xenôn , or after medical examination or even by some form of subscription? 2 If no beds were available, were they turned away? If a bed was necessary and available, was any charge ever made? It is claimed that it was a free service. This is implicit in the concept of philanthropia , in the examples of the anargyroi , 3 and in the pious and charitable intentions of the foundations. Intentions might have taken the form of endowments (imperial, private or religious) that, by analogy with monastic endowments, met the running costs of xenônes and, perhaps, the costs of treatment. 4 A free service was possible so long as endowments remained adequate; their suffi ciency might, however, be mutable in times of economic hardship. 5 The Belgian Bollandist and Byzantinist Hippolyte Delehaye (1859-1941) observes in the case of the Lips xenôn , for example, that 6
. . . ces biens [for the endowment of the xenôn ] sont inaliénables . . . si le malheur des temps ou quelque invasion des barbares l’exigeait, on pourrait se procurer des ressources en vendant des objets précieux, sans toucher aux propriétés.