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Nudity and Equipment

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 2302A/B
David Lamari

Nudity and Equipment C – circa (about) Fl. – flowered – many ancient people, don’t know when they were born/died – published a poem or something big – use fl Athenian black figure, ABF -pots > ABF = Athenian black figure > all of the figures are in black, eventually made them in red Athenian red figure -switched from black to red ARF Tondo > pot – tondo is the interior portion of a vase for various athletic events > looking at the inside of a cup not the outside Athletic nudity Gymnikos Agon Origins of athletic nudity Greek athletes (male) practiced and competed in the nude. The word athlete comes from - *athlon is a prize and an athlete is going after a prize Root of the word gymnasium > place to be naked > place where naked athletes are (train/compete – naked room) Gymnikos Agon – greek word – gymnikos means naked (adjective), agon means agony (particular kind of pain – competition) -agony is what you feel – pain you felt when you pushed yourself to the limit in a competition for the sake of an athlon (prize) First reported incidence of athletic nudity > being naked was strange back then, cultures didn’t do this – only greeks did this Persians – great empire – most shameful to be disrobed -when the Greeks captured Persians > throw down your weapons and take off your clothes (normal) -didn’t do this to humiliate the Persians but this did exactly that when they made them take off their clothes and put them in custody -romans eventually come into contact with Greek culture > they thought it was deviant and luxurious and lumped it in with one of the reasons why the romans took over the greeks (polishing yourself in oil – real men don’t do that – no wonder they beat them) -no agreement where nudity first started – a lot of different ideas, these include: =very early on in the earliest poet Homer, greeks had clothes on so it wasn’t always like this =man watching an athlete running – loincloth fell off (not sure if it was intentional or not) but doing so made him compete better – won the race – afterwards it became the norm =contributed to Spartans > doing it for obvious reasons – might have been historical -judged their bodies – praised the men and women who were in shape, if you were flabby/soft/overweight you were ridiculed and whipped -code – physical military excellence – did this to judge people -Spartans have this nudity as an institution (so maybe why) Lacedaimonian -> name for the region where the Spartans live – Sparta is the city and Lacedaimonia is the region =artistic evidence – on the vase they were painted over with white paint – exporting pots with athletic men- sent them to italy – they would paint over a white tunic to hide the nudity (uphill battle to gain acceptance throughout the ancient world) -christians attached fig leaves to cover up nudity Infibulation (Figure 19)  tieing up with a ribbon (also called dog leash) – tie a string around their foreskin Figure 7 – you haven’t done it – gesturing towards it – not the signal for a foul however Figure 8 – he has tied himself up – it wasn’t mandatory -part of Greek attitude towards nudity – take leather bend penis back and tie it or tie it around your waist/up to keep it from moving around -why would you tie it? It was an aesthetic thing – it looked better – an erect penis was shameful – you couldn’t control yourself, one that wasn’t was seen as proper -having it tucked away was “the look” -didn’t practice circumcision – Jews were circumcised but Greeks passed a law that you couldn’t when greek culture spreads throughout the world (athletics) – it provoked a lot of strive in their cultures – young kids would be for it but the older generation was shocked (especially Jewish) -athletics provoked the Jewish uprise against authorities that were for greek culture Why did Greek men practice and compete naked? Figure 4 – every single person that did athletics was naked – not just top athletics – it was the required way -gravestone < wants you to know who he was – wasn’t a professional athlete but part of it was – signals it by standing their naked -vase in figure 4 where they paint over (loincloth) -all heroes/greek gods were also depicted in the nude -zues – naked (Achilles/Apollo – all naked in statues) this showed that it was appropriate – why would they make the gods naked? -one possibility is that it distinguished them from the people around them -every culture wants to be separate from the other cultures around th
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