why

by hailee
(delaware)

why is it that all the pictures about the greek myths have to b naked i mean its called clothes.



Hello,
that's a good observation, but... the ancient Greeks had a cult for beauty in general, which included the beauty of nature and, as such, of the human body. The athletic competitions were an important part of the social and spiritual life in ancient Greece, with contests during the festivals dedicated to gods. After all, it was the Greeks who invented the Olympic games. The naked bodies of the athletes were a kind of offering made to the gods and they represented the effort made by humans to become perfect, like their gods.
The Greeks would train in gymnasiums, the name of which comes from the Greek word "gymnos", which means "naked", because they were naked during training or during the competitions. This would apply to men throughout Greece, except for Sparta, where women had to train, too (and where women also took part naked in competitions).
A quick note: the Greeks had discovered the connection between physical education, good health and education in general. In gymnasiums, physical training of the children also aimed at making them strong and healthy and, when children were a little older, they also received instruction in moral, ethics, philosophy.
The origins of the practice of exercising naked are not known, but it probably was just for the appreciation of the human body and also as a tribute to the gods (Also, don't forget that the weather is quite warm in Greece).
In ancient Greek art, many of the gods and heroes were represented naked, as a symbol of perfection. Among goddesses, Aphrodite was the one to be represented without clothing.
As we know, Greek art had an important influence on Roman art, even if for the Romans it was offensive to appear naked in public. The Romans were more strict and they didn't appreciate the love for beauty in itself. The young people had to train through hard work in the soldier camps, not in gymnasiums.
Also in later art, most of which was inspired by mythology, the convention of nakedness was maintained, even if by that time walking around naked was considered shameful.
On this site I tried to illustrate Greek mythology with classical works of art. Each was created in a certain historical period, in which the mentality was different from the present-day mentality. Also, please keep in mind that USA is different, in this respect, from Europe, where there are lots of statues and paintings representing naked characters inspired from mythology, in many cities, parks, palaces and even churches - to say nothing about those in the museums. In Italy, for instance, where there are many cities which are around 2000 years old, you see these works of art all the time, all around you, they are just a part of the normal urban landscape. And of course people don't walk around without clothes and, if anybody did, he or she would be considered nuts!

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