not effected all at once; and it reflected one or more scenarios peculiar to Greece.8' Nudity now comes to mean

something unique. No longer does it mean vulnerability; it means, on the contrary, the readiness to stand up
and fight even though one knew one was exposed. It
has to do with military valor which necessitates risking
one's life, being completely exposed. The girls were kept
covered because it meant they were protected, not exposed to risk. The relationship of this manly nudity to
the nudity of the gods is, in addition, vital: the gods could be
Bare because they relied on themselves.
Authors of the Classical period eventually seemed
back at the custom and offered rationalizing explanations for an association whose significance had changed
from religious and rite to civic.82 The Greeks did

tifying signals of the sportsman. A storyline features the sloth of the
Folks of Sybaris,who saw the athletesof Krotondiggingup
the palaestra and wonderedwhy they did not hire workers
to performsuch menial tasks (Poliakoff[supran. 54] 12-13,
80 Aeschin. In Tim. 138; mentioned in M. Golden,
Homosexuality,"Phoenix 38 (1984) 319, who thinks slaves
were actually prohibited from entering the palaestra. For a
similar law in Crete, view Arist. Pol.

slaves the same rights as they have, except that they prohibit
Gymnasticsand war are mentionedtogether additionally as something normallyforeignto girls:supra, text and n. 85.
Murray 1980 (supra n. 72) 193. Similar transformation,
from spiritual to civil, took place, e.g., in the theater, or in
the polis, with the use of the lot.

not wholly understandthe source or the development
Yet they had to clarify it, as a peculiarity that illustrated in a visible manner and affirmed in actions the difference between themselves
acutely aware. We've seen that they attributedthe
Source of fit nudity to the 15th Olympiad, in the
The earliest
But the custom spread gradually, and later, into
everydaylife. Such a gradualdevelopmentcan describe
the statement of Thucydides (1.6)-repeated after by
Plato (Resp. 5.452a-e)-that athletic nudity had become worldwide in Greece "shortlybefore his time."
These authors were referringto the normalizationof
nudity in real life, to its civil worth,not to its
earliest appearancein religious ritual and art.
Thucydides viewed the custom of exercising in the
nude in the context of democracy,which had trium:i?? I i ?iiiiii:ii-

phantly been confirmed at Athens just before of fit nudity into the regular life of the gymnasium
and palaestra was part of a "modern" way of life,
freer, simpler, more democratic, based on Thucydides.
himself in readiness for military service. A Greek soldier must be in shape: he must be lean and muscular,
not portly and prosperous. Civic nudity marked a
except the
Greeks-who declared their status and riches by
wearing luxurious garments that gave an impression
of elegance and authority."83
While Thucydides explains Greek nudity in the
context of democracy, Plato explains it as an effect of
the legitimate, rational way of thinking of which the
Greeks were so proud.84 In a passage in which he obviously has the Spartan model in mind, Plato envisions
the situation that would appear if girls were to have
If, then, we use the girls for the same things as the
Guys, they must also be educated the same things. Now
music and gymnasticwere givento the guys. These two
Artwork, and what has to do with war, must be assignedto
the girls also, and they must be used in the same
Manners. Possibly,comparedto what's habitual,many of
the things now being said would seem ridiculousif they

the girls exercising naked with the guys in the palaestras, not only the young ones, but even the elderly
ones, too, like the old men in the gymnasium who,
when they're wrinkledand not pleasantto the eye, all
The exact same love gymnastic.-By Zeus, he said, that
would look ridiculousin the presentstate of stuff. Well, since we've began to speak, we must not be
afraid of all the jokes-of whatever type-the wits
might make if such a change happened in gymnastic,
the riding of horses. But since we've begun to speak,

tiated society like that of ancient Greece focus must be
paid to a broad variety of evidence, from myths and philosophic utopias to on the physical appearance,
movements,or dress associatedwith a particularstatus or

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