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we must make our way to the rough part of the law,

begging these men

them that it isn't so long ago that it looked black and ridiculous to the Greeks-as it does now to the many among the barbarians-to see guys nude; and that when the Cretans originated the gymnasiums, and then the Lacedaemonians,it was possible for the urbane of the time to make a comedyof all that. But, I Assume, when it becameclear to those who used these practices that to uncover all such things is better than

to conceal them, then what is ridiculousto the eyes vanished in the light of what's finest And this revealed that he's empty who considers anything is silly Aside from the sight of the silly and the awful; or, again, he who looks seriously to any standard of

beauty he sets up other than the great

women guardiansmust strip, since they will clothethemselves in virtue instead of robes, and they must take commonpart in war and the rest of the city'sguarding,

and mustn't do other things

laughs at naked women practicing gymnastic for the Benefit of the finest, "plucksfrom his wisdom an unripe fruit for ridicule"and doesn't know-as it looks-at what he laughs or what he does. For this is really the fairest thing that is said and will be said-the beneficialis honest and the harmful ugly.85 Apart from the differentiation between men and girls in Greek life, and Platonic notions, the passage touches on several significant aspects of Greek nudity: its Objective in instruction (music, athletic exercises, the artwork of war), as a prep for military service; laughter as a reaction to something embarrassing and shameful-the sight of a naked girl, as before the sight of a nude guy; the adoption of public male nakedness in everyday life as an initiation; and the explanation of athletic nudity as a useful, rational custom. Other authors gave an assortment of rationalizing explanations for the association. Plutarch sees a social purpose in the nakedness of men and women together in the institution of the gymnopaidia at Sparta: Lycurgus needed to support in the young men the desire to marry as soon as possible.86 This rationalizing tendency of the Greeks is undoubtedly

. to be serious; and reminding

Then the

And the man who


passage in Pausanias, in which he credits the custom of having trainers entering the arena nude to a historical episode. According to this account, a mom who had disguised herself as her son's trainer at Olympia became so excited at his success that she leapt over the fence, and so endangered herself as a girl. She wasn't penalized, but a law was passed to make sure that henceforward only men were accepted." Modern scholars have in some cases taken such explanations seriously.88 In contrast to historical explanations, most modern interpretations, nevertheless, have concentrated on the aesthetic aspect of the occurrence. This is perhaps natural, since nudity in art is

most familiar, having long been consideredan expression of the Greek ideal. Since the time of Polykleitos the picture of Guest Website: Making A Naturist Documentary Film with FKK , ideally beautiful, remained,for generations,the favoritetheme of Greek artists. Yet we cannot take Greek nudity for allowed. One can simply explain its origin in Greek culture, and the relationship of fit nudity with the artistic nudity of the kouros, the phallic herm, the satyr, and the actor of Old Comedy, by taking into account the originally spiritual, rite, apotropaic motives for Greek nudity, which lead us back to its early status of taboo. At a later point in its history, its meaning was comprehended in a different way. The association was transformed, and a distinct set of connotations developed. This is clear from the signs of ancient authors who cope with this custom, as we have seen, in Provisions of their own historical context.

Maybe we can better understandthe scenario in Greece by looking at those who did not share in this

institutionalizednudity:girls and barbarians. WOMEN

For girls in Greek art, literature, and life, the tabooagainst nudityremainedin total force,with all its sense of humiliation and vulnerability as well as its

evident in the "practical"explanations offered for the "Launch"of athletic nudity at Olympia-that it facilitatedthe athlete'svictory.It's additionally illustratedin a

magic power. In art the female nude appears briefly, in the early Archaicperiod, as a religiousfertility motif, following the Near Eastern model of the naked mothergoddess. After these early figures the picture was used for pathetic appeal, for It was a noticeable rendering of a dick, huge and arching upwards. It cannot have had any practical or erotic appeal, or for scenes from the life of a courtesan.89


The sense of shame which was so pervasive in the Near East was still found in Homer's accounts of the punishment of Thersites, as we have seen. The anxiety of exposure long remained an effective risk for girls. At Miletus, a decree was passed to discourage a rash of suicides among the girls of that city: those who killed themselves were threatened with being taken