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Nudity in the sport of ancient Greece

In ancient times, even before the classical era, for example, during the Cretan Minoan civilization, athletic exercise was an important part of everyday life. In fact, the Greeks credited several mythological figures with athletic achievements, and the male gods (especially Apollo and Heracles , sponsors of the sport) were commonly represented as athletes. While Greek sculpture often showed men completely naked, a new concept appeared for women, "venus pudica" (or partially nude), see " Nike of Samothrace ". Nudity in sports was very common, with almost all sports performed naked. As a tradition it was probably introduced for the first time in the city-state of Sparta, during the late archaic period.



The civilization of ancient Greece (Hellas), during the archaic period, had an athletic and cultic aesthetic of nudity that typically included adult men and adolescents, but sometimes also children, women and girls. The love for beauty also included the human body, beyond love for nature, philosophy, the arts, etc. The Greek word gym means " a place to train naked ." Male athletes competed naked, but most of the city-states of the time did not allow female participants or even spectators at those events, with Sparta being a notable exception. The origins of nudity in ancient Greek sports are the subject of a legend about the athlete Orsipo de Megara . There are several myths regarding these origins; in one, Orsipo loses his clothes during the race for the stadium of the XV Olympic Games in 720 BC, which gives him an advantage and wins. Other athletes emulate it and fashion is born.

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Source: Info Nudism

Original publication 04/23/2019

Posted on NatCorn 27th April 2019

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