From: Amara Graps (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 04:43:41 MST
>Any connection with the Renaissance?
Perhaps the ancient Greeks? It was tied up in their view of
health and beauty. And also "dignity" (going back to Anders'
discussion here last summer).
from my post: "Mind/Body dualism" Tue Aug 21 2001
For the first, I think that "reverence" might be a more suitable
word than "fascination". The Greek's view of their bodies was
strongly coupled with their view of their natural world, in that
they saw beauty and harmony and felt it was their duty to preserve
it, and their place in it.
For the Greeks, the human body was a masterpiece. They would make
sure to do everything humanly possible to promote its health and
therefore, its beauty. They would go to the gym (heh.. gymno in
Greek means naked..), exercising every day, bathing every day in
private or public baths, cover their skin with olive oil and herbs
to moisturize and scent it. You can follow some of their body-care
in the old stories. For example, in Homer's Odyssey, every time
Odysseus passed through, yet, another calamity and was in a place
where he could recover, the first thing that he would do before
feasting his face was to bathe and anoint himself with olive oil.
The mind-body link to the Greeks was very strong. Health was
important if you wanted to be beautiful: in mind and in flesh. In
fact, the mind was considered to be a bit more important because the
beauty of mind was identified with virtues like justice and honesty,
The Greeks took the mind-body link one step further to the arena of
"action". The aesthetic of the body and the health that accrues from
physical fitness was a symbol and evidence for the reality that
every individual has the power to translate word into deed and to be
men and women of action, and not of just talk.
[Did you know that the early Greeks preferred their athletics nude?
They invented the Olympic Games on this basis. ]
The Ancient Greeks 'uncovered' most than other peoples, it
looks like, but not entirely.
Nudity in Ancient Greece
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