All rights reserved. Nude athletes, performance-enhancing lizard meat, and animal sacrifices are just a few of the things that separate the ancient Olympics from the modern games, says the author of The Naked Olympics. The games were dedicated to [the god] Zeus. There were athletic games all over Greece , but because of the sanctity of Zeus, the Olympics quickly became revered.
Naked ambition: when the Greeks first stripped off
Naked ambition: when the Greeks first stripped off | Art and design | The Guardian
When the British Museum opens its blockbuster exhibition of Greek sculpture this spring, curators believe visitors may have one burning question. While the neighbouring Egyptian and Assyrian galleries are filled with fully clothed gods and mortals, the ancient Greeks chose to depict the human body in its natural state. Elgin Marbles: British Museum loan 'an affront' to Greek people. What Angela Merkel will see at the British Museum.
British Museum explains why Greek statues are naked
The history of nudity involves social attitudes to nakedness of the human body in different cultures in history. The use of clothing to cover the body is one of the changes that mark the end of the Neolithic, and the beginning of civilizations. Nudity or near-complete nudity has traditionally been the social norm for both men and women in some hunter-gatherer cultures in warm climates and it is still common among many indigenous peoples. The need to cover the body is associated with human migration out of the tropics into climates where clothes were needed as protection from sun, heat, and dust in the Middle East; or from cold and rain in Europe and Asia. The first use of animal skins and cloth may have been as adornment, along with body modification, body painting, and jewelry, invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as well.
T he oddity of ancient sculpture often escapes us. A male nude, a Greek statue, has become very familiar over the past 2, years: it is what we expect of ancient statuary, that it show off its muscles. At times it can seem overly familiar, a bit tacky or tawdry or maybe just banal, evoking the withdrawing room of an aesthete of the s, a gay sauna in the s or the yard at the back of a modern garden centre alongside the blue-glazed planters and bird baths. The Uffizi in Florence was once most famous for its collection of classical sculptures, but who now spends much time looking at them as they barge past to the Botticellis? If you find the crowds around the Hieronymus Bosches too much in the Prado, seek out the cul-de-sac where they have put the wonderful San Ildefonso statue group for some peace and quiet.