begging these guys.. .
them that it is not so long ago that it seemed black
many among the barbarians-to see guys naked; and
and then the Lacedaemonians,it was possible for the
But, I
to conceal them, then what is ridiculousto the eyes disappeared in the light of what’s best …. And this showed
that he’s empty who considers anything is silly
Aside from the sight of the silly and the poor; or,
again, he who looks seriously to any standard of
beauty he sets up other than the good …. Afterward the
Girls 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 mustn’t do other things …. And the man who
laughs at naked girls practicing gymnastic for the
sake of the finest, “plucksfrom his wisdom an unripe
fruit for ridicule”and does not know-as it appears-at
what he laughs or what he does. For this is absolutely the
fairest thing that’s said and will be said-the
beneficialis reasonable and the harmful awful.85
Aside from the differentiation between men and girls
in Greek life, and Platonic ideas, the passage touches
on several significant features of Greek nudity: its
purpose in instruction (music, athletic exercises, the art
of war), as a preparation for military service; laughter
as a reaction to something humiliating and shameful-the sight of a naked girl, as earlier the sight
of a nude man; the adoption of public male nakedness
in everyday life as an initiation; and the explanation
of fit nudity as a useful, rational custom.
Other authors gave an assortment of rationalizing explanations for the institution.
the institution of the gymnopaidia at Sparta: Lycurgus desired to encourage in the young men the want
to wed as soon as possible.86
This rationalizing tendency of the Greeks is clearly


passage in Pausanias, in which he attributes the custom of having trainers entering the stadium nude to a
historical incident. According to this report, a mother
over the fence, and hence exposed herself as a girl.
She was not penalized, but a law was passed to make
sure that henceforward only men were admitted.”
Modern scholars have in some instances taken such explanations seriously.88 In contrast to historical explanations, most modern interpretations, nevertheless, have
concentrated on the aesthetic aspect of the phenomenon.

the image of the male bare youth, ideally delightful,
remained,for generations,the favoritetheme of Greek
artists. Yet we cannot take Greek nudity for allowed.
One can only explain its source in Greek culture, and
Performer of Old Comedy, by considering 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 understood in a different way. The association
was transformed, and a different set of connotations
developed. This is clear from the signs of ancient
Writers who cope with this custom, as we’ve seen, in
Conditions of their own historical context.

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

institutionalizednudity:girls and barbarians.

For women in Greek art, literature, and life, the
tabooagainst nudityremainedin total force,with all its
Awareness of humiliation and vulnerability in addition to its

Clear in the “practical”explanations offered for the
“Intro”of fit nudity at Olympia-that it
facilitatedthe athlete’svictory.It’s also illustratedin a

magic power.
In artwork 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 magic or erotic allure, or for pictures

The sense of shame which was so pervasive in read was still found in Homer’s accounts of the
punishment of Thersites, as we’ve seen. The anxiety of
exposure long remained an powerful hazard for girls.
At Miletus, a decree was passed to discourage a rash
killed themselves were threatened with being carried