that there was an archaic nude picture of Heracles which was believed to be the

procession has been discovered in Nigeria. [See E. R. Dennett, The Spiritual and political System of the Yoruba
(London, 1910). p, 951. At Trani, by Naples, a huge wooden phallic picture called “II Santo Membro” was taken
in procession yearly until the eighteenth century. (See Rawson, Simple Erotic Art, p. 75). During the latter
part of the nineteenth century, in huge cities of Japan phallic festivals took place in which tremendous floats were
Displayed. At several of these holidays, a surging mass of almost nude young men carried a massive papier-mch
phallus. Occasionally forty feet long. [See Micheal Czaja, Gods of Myths and Stone (Awesome York, 1974). p. 1741.
There is enough evidence to show that phallic processions were customary in many countries and were of great
antiquity. Herodotos (2.48-49) also mentions similar phallic processions in Egypt.
40. Kenneth Clark, The Nude: A Study of Ideal Art (London, 1957). pp. 162. 163.
41. For these observations made about Heracles see John Mouratidis. “Heracles at Olympia and the
Exclusion of Women from the Ancient Olympic Games,”Journal of Sport History 11 (Winter 1984): 41-55.
42. Bonfante, Etrusron Dress, p. 28. The Chaldaeans covered as a rule with considerable drapery the sorts of their
gods; but for the goddess of love and fecundity, and the demi-god whom many compare to the Greek Heracles,
they had recourse to all the frankness of nudity (view Perrott and Chipiez, History of Art in Phrygia, p. 92).
43. See Ruth Glynn, “Heracles, Nereus and Triton: A Study of lconography in Sixth Century Athens,”AJA
85 (1981): 121-132; John Boardman, Greek Sculpture: The Archaic period (Fresh York and Toronto, 1978), p. 261;
idem, Archaic Greek Gems (London. 1968). n 210, 198; idem, Greek Gems and Finger Rings: Early Bronze Age
IO Lav Classical (London, 1970). pl. 266.
44. E. Norman Cardiner, Olympia: Irs History and Remains (Oxford, 1925). p, 221. Amount 111,112


Journal of Sport History, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Winter, 1985)
work of Daidalos.45 Typically, the hero is depicted bare in early Greek art
which symbolizes old legends. One cannot escape the conclusion that these early
Naked looks of the hero were based on the uncontestable authority of
tradition. On Heracles and his nudity, Evelyn Harrison highlighted that:
There’s just one dweller in Olympos for whom the banqueting pose, the heroic
nudity, the short hair and the strong physique are all genuinely characteristic and that
is Heracles. He alone comes naked into the presence of Zeus and the other gods.
The nudity of the sportsman, the combatant, the laborer is his, and it is the authentic symbol of his

identity, the badge of his career.46
Heracles’ nudity is in accordance with the observations made above about the

phallic symbolism4′ and the nudity of the warrior-athlete. He was the most
popular hero of the Greeks, known as alexikakos and apotropaios (an averter of
evils) as strong and great, as creator of the Olympic Games, as a helper in all
Problems, as a great sportsman, as the guardian of the race, as an averter of death,
as a nude warrior-athlete par excellence, as the hero of heroes, and as a
guardian angel.
It is practical to presume that since Heracles was the hero in whose honour

the Olympic Games were potentially held, then his protges, the sportsmen, were
trying to copy the nudity as well as various other features of their patron.
From earliest times, the Greek gods and heroes boastfully exhibited their
physical energy and demanded such a show from their zealots and enthusiasts.
The material evidence shows that the warrior-athlete was not a winning
theme for the artists of the late Geometric interval (750-700 B.C.). The sportsmen
of this period carried no weapons and wore no helmets. More emphasis has
been given to the bodies of the athletes and especially to their long arms and
Formidable legs, rather than to their competitive and warlike features. In the ProtoAttic and Proto-Corinthian artwork, there are not any traces of the warrior-athlete. The
last fifty years of the 8th century was probably the interval when the nudity of the
warrior-sportsman developed into fit nudity. This was the same span when
the prevalent practice of hero cults, linked with competitive games
Happened. The popularity of athletics and numerous practical factors
were responsible for the change from the warrior-athlete’s nudity to fit
nudity. It is very vital that you remember that the last part of the 8th century is
by tradition the eve of the start of nudity in Greek sport and is the
45. nude beach pic . Farnell (Greek Hero Cults, p. III) regarded this nude picture of Heracles as Dorian
dedication of about 600 B.C.
46. Evelyn Harrison, “Athena and Athens in East Pediment of Parthenon,” AJA 71 (1967): 44.
47. beach erotic said that the Lacedaemonian cult of the “Finger of Heracles,” supposed to have been bitten off by