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

begging these guys.. . to be serious; and reminding
them that it’s not so long ago that it seemed shameful
and ridiculous to the Greeks-as it does now to the
many among the barbarians-to see men naked; 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 hide them, then what is ridiculousto the eyes disappeared in the light of what’s finest …. And this revealed
that he’s empty who believes anything is foolish
Aside from the sight of the absurd and the bad; or,
again, he who looks seriously to any standard of
Attractiveness he sets up other than xxx nudists …. Then the
women guardiansmust strip, since they will clothethemselves in virtue instead of robes, and they must take
commonpart in war and the remainder of the city’sguarding,
and must not do other things …. And the guy who
laughs at naked women practicing gymnastic for the
sake of the finest, “plucksfrom his wisdom an unripe
fruit for ridicule”and doesn’t understand-as it looks-at
what he laughs or what he does. For this is definitely the
fairest thing that’s said and will be said-the
beneficialis fair and the harmful ugly.85
Apart from the differentiation between men and women
in Greek life, and Platonic ideas, the passage touches
on several important features of Greek nudity: its
purpose in education (music, athletic exercises, the art
of war), as a preparation for military service; laughter
as a reaction to something embarrassing and black-the sight of a nude girl, as earlier the sight
of a nude guy; the adoption of public male nakedness
in regular life as an innovation; and the explanation
of fit nudity as a useful, rational custom.
Other authors gave a variety of rationalizing explanations for the association. Plutarch sees a social purpose in the nakedness of men and women collectively in
the institution of the gymnopaidia at Sparta: Lycurgus wanted to encourage in the young men the want
to marry as soon as possible.86
This rationalizing inclination of the Greeks is definitely

[AJA93

passage in Pausanias, in which he credits the custom of having trainers entering the arena naked to a
Historic event. According to this report, a mom
who had disguised herself as her son’s trainer at Olympia became so excited at his success that she jumped
over the fence, and consequently endangered herself as a woman.
She wasn’t penalized, but a law was passed to make
sure that henceforward only men were admitted.”
Contemporary scholars have in some cases taken such explanations seriously.88 In contrast to historical explanations, most modern interpretations, however, have
concentrated on the aesthetic aspect of the phenomenon. This is perhaps natural, since nudity in art is

most recognizable, having long been consideredan expression of the Greek ideal. Since the time of Polykleitos
the picture of the male naked youth, ideally beautiful,
remained,for generations,the favoritetheme of Greek
artists. Yet we cannot take Greek nudity for allowed.
One can simply describe its source in Greek culture, and
the relationship of fit nudity with the artistic nudity of the kouros, the phallic herm, the satyr, and the
Performer of Old Comedy, by considering the originally religious, rite, apotropaic motives for Greek
nudity, which lead us back to its early status of
taboo. At a later stage in its history, its significance
was understood in a different way. The association
was transformed, and a distinct set of connotations
developed. This is clear from nude family public fucking pic of early
authors who deal with this custom, as we have seen, in
terms of their own historic context.

Maybe we can better understandthe situation in
Greece by looking at those who didn’t share in this


institutionalizednudity:women and barbarians.
GIRLS

For women in Greek art, literature, and life, the
tabooagainst nudityremainedin complete force,with all its
Awareness of humiliation and vulnerability as well as its

Obvious in the “practical”explanations offered for the
“introduction”of athletic nudity at Olympia-that it
facilitatedthe athlete’svictory.It is also illustratedin a

magic power.
In art the female nude appears briefly, in the early
Archaicperiod, as a religiousfertility motif, following
the Near Asian model of the naked mothergoddess.
After these early figures the picture was used for pathetic appeal, for magic or sexual allure, or for scenes
from the life of a courtesan.89

NUDITY AS A COSTUME IN CLASSICAL ART

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’ve seen. The panic of
exposure long stayed an powerful danger for girls.
At Miletus, a decree was passed to deter a rash
of suicides among the girls of that city: those who
killed themselves were threatened with being taken

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