sources deal with essential features of their cultures:

Generally, sees continuity, Greek historians pressure initiation.
I hope, helpful.
shows something awesome in the ancient world. The word
refers to absolute nudity. In Classical times, a man was
In a military context gymnos meant “unarmed” (II. 16.815, etc.), not
covered by armour, exposed (Thuc. 3.23, 5.10.71; Xen.
Hell. 4.4.12); and “light armed,” as opposed to the
heavy-armed hoplite. The gymnon stadion (Pind.
Pyth. 11.49) was the race run without armor, in contrast to the hoplitodromos. By far the most common
Use, however, was expressly “exercising in the
nude.”22 The word had become something fresh, just as
the Greeks had made something awesome of the early so-


In Homer’s poems, of around 800 B.C., nakedness
implies shame, vulnerability, passing, and dishonor.
The naked body of the hero must be rescued. Thersites is threatened with being stripped and run nude
Odysseus covers himself with
leaves before Nausicaa.23 The latter case, of
Class, may be due to the special circumstances. The
hero is meeting a young, unmarried girl for the
first time, and it would barely be proper for him
to appear before her completely naked. Homer presents us, it seems, as so often, with the old and the
Fresh, the conventional and the earliest example of what
An important passage appears to illustrate this kind of coexistence. In the 22nd novel of the Iliad, Priam and Hecuba
in turn effort-in vain-to dissuade Hector from
going to struggle and to certain death. Both appeal to his
compassion, and reverence, by facing him with the scene of their nakedness. The sight of one’s parents’ nakedness is amazing.24 Priam paints a picture of his
own death and degradation. An old man’s departure is
Hideous: “When an old man is dead and down, and the
dogs mutilate the grey head and the gray beard and the
Components that are shameful (albi^), this, for all sad mortality is the sight most pitiful” (II. 22.74-76). Instantly
after this, Hecuba exhibits her breast and holds it outside
for Hector, in entreaty (79-81). This pitiable significance refers to the traditional awareness of nakedness.
What’s new is what Priam contrasts with the
grisly, shameful, horrible death of an old man: the beauty
of the nakedness of a young man. “For a young man
all is decorous when he is cut down in battle and ripped

with the sharp bronze, and lies there, and though dead
all that shows about him is beautiful… ” (II.
22.71-73). The picture is startling at this kind of early
date. was understandably well-known.
Tyrtaios’s well-known poem, with its comparison of awful
and delightful.
For this is shameful, for an elderly guy fallen in battle
One of the front line combatants to lie before the youthful
bloody genitals in his hands and with his skin all bare.
This sight is shameful for the eyes to beholdand reprehensible. But in contrast among young men all these
things are suitable as long as he shines in the blooming of
Wonderful youth manhood. They’re admirablefor men to
see and fantastically attractivefor women while he’s
Living-and he seems additionally honorable and beautiful
Dropped in the front line.25
There’s no sign of any difference between Greeks
and barbarians in Homer in relation to language, religion (the Trojans’ sacrifice at the temple of Athena),

match. Early writers assumed this meant that they
Lately others have implied
that they were engaged in belt-wrestling, understood from
the ancient Near East, where naked man figures wearing thick belts were common in early or protohistoric

cover their genitals. Total nudity for men could signify service to the god, a ritual “costume.”
The bare woman, consistently revealed in front view, was
a very common motif that could have different meanings at different times. In Near Eastern artwork goddesses
were so represented, primary among them Ishtar
(Astarte), whose powerful, naked image was broadly
Spread, and powerful in many areas and periods.28 The most frequent connotation of female nudity
in historical times appears to have been service rendered
in the temple.29 For men, yet, in the early
Near East and elsewhere it was a hint of defeat. As in
Disgrace, captivity, humiliation.30
Greek prehistory offers fewer examples of complete
nudity. Active younger guys and heroes were symbolized in art wearing the perizoma or short pants31
throughout the Aegean and the whole Mediterranean,
in contrast to old men, dressed in long chitons and