the Nemean lion it perhaps arose from a phallus on a grave which by chance became associated with Heracles

(See Greek Hero Cults p.’357) Farnell was probably appropriate since the so-called “Finger of Attis” is interpreted by
many as phallus as well (see E.R.E., S.V. “Hand”). believed the middle finger of either hand had
a phallic connotation. Early Roman authors mention that the middle finger fully extended and held vertical
represented the Member and the closed fingers and thumb on each side signified the testicles.
Scott. Phallic Worship, p. 108). For more about Heracles and the phallic symbolism see: J. C. P. Deanna, “Du
Divin au Grotesque,” Revue d’Ethnographie er des Traditions poppulaires 7 (1926): 31; Alexandre Colson,
A Study of the Social
Origins of Greek Religion (Cambridge, 1912).


Source of Nudity in Greek Sports
Interval that scholars imputed the so called “heroic nudity” which instead suggests that nudity in Greek sports had something to do with heroes or warriors.
The late 8th century is also when the start of the chain of statues of nude Greek
kouroi appeared. All kouroi usually do not represent Apollo, since many have been
discovered in graveyards where they must have functioned as tombstones representing human beings. Furthermore in archaic times kouroi were used for victors in
the games4
Why was nudity in sports a unique Greek phenomenon, since the primitive
human reply in using nudity for aggression, from which fit nudity was
developed, was common in other cultures too?
question, one should consider another aspect of Greek life, fairly unique in
Greek lands, the hero cult,49 which was connected with games.’O Greek heroes
and gods proudly displayed their physical energy and needed the same thing
from their devotees. The presence of Heracles at Olympia was of prime
importance for the survival of the custom of nudity in Greek sport because
he was, by tradition, a bare hero and a naked warrior-athlete par excellence
whose nudity was mimicked by the sportsmen.
If nudity was viewed as valuable to the warrior-athlete, why was it retained only
in athletics since classical warriors needed protection and assertiveness at least as
much as sportsmen? The Greeks while winning their way to classical civilization
Kept the custom of nudity in athletics but they were not conscious of the
Competitive aspect of it as were their remote ancestors. To put real nudist family pics , the custom
of nudity persisted into a higher civilization but the practice of endeavouring to
secure protection in this manner had been lost or left. This was the chief
Rationale the ancient warrior had no comprehension of this feeling of
protection. This is also the instance with a number of current tribes among whom the
Custom of nudity for aggression predominated but is rapidly disappearing as they
gradually come under the impact of modern culture. The Classical Greeks
felt so strongly about their nudity that they considered that to be ashamed to be seen
Nude in the gymnasium was the characteristic, the proof and the signal of a
barbarian. The reason the Greeks fell in love with their nudity is not the
purpose of this paper. That endeavor has been well done by other writers. 51
48. Also see Bonfante, (Efruscan, pp.
20, 28) who writes that the Etruscan equivalent of a Greek kouros wears a perizoma.
century, as the period of the change from the warrior-sportsman nudity to athletic nudity, should be regarded with
some reservations because the scanty material signs may be misleading. Moreover, one cannot exclude the
role of artistic convention in the stuff evidence cited here.
49. Herodotos (2.50) mentioned that heroes have no position in the religion of Egypt. Also see Peter Kahane,
“The Cesnola Krater from Kourion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Iconological Study in Greek
Geometric Art,” in The Archaeology of Cyprus: Recent Developments, ed. Noel Robertson (Park Ridge, N.J.:
Noyes Press, 1975). 185. For a thorough investigation of the hero cult in both prehistoric and historical Greece see
Erwin Rohde. Soul: The Cult of Souls and Belief in Immortality Among the Greeks (London. 1950), pp. 115-155;
Farnell, Greek Hero Cults.
50. See Rohde, Psyche, pp. 116-l 17; Mircea Eliade. A History of Religious Thoughts from the Stone Age to the
EIeusinian Mysteries (Chicago, 1978), pp. 285, 313. For references found throughout early Greek literature,
concerning the games held in honour of the Greek heroes find: Lynn E. Roller, “Funeral Games in Greek Art,” AJA
85 (1981): 107.119.
51. Fardiner (AAW, p. 58) wrote: “It is not only that exposure to the atmosphere and the sunlight-tub are. as doctors now