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

(See Greek Hero Cults p.’357) Farnell was likely right since the so called “Finger of Attis” is interpreted by
many as phallus as well (see E.R.E., S.V. “Hand”). The ancients considered that the middle finger of either hand had
a phallic connotation. Early Roman writers mention that the middle finger fully extended and held erect
represented the Dick and the closed fingers and thumb on each side signified the testicles. (For references see
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,
“Hercule Phalophore,” Gazerre Archologique 3 (1877): 169; J. E. Harisson, Themis: A Study of the Social
Origins of Greek Religion (Cambridge, 1912). p. 383 n. 2.


Origin of Nudity in Greek Sport
Span that scholars assigned the so called “epic nudity” which instead indicates that nudity in Greek sport had something to do with heroes or warriors.
The late 8th century is also when the beginning of the series of statues of nude Greek
kouroi appeared. All kouroi don’t signify Apollo, since many have been
discovered in graveyards where they must have served as tombstones signifying human beings. Furthermore in archaic times kouroi were used for victors in
the games4
Why was nudity in athletics a unique Greek phenomenon, since the primitive
human response in using nudity for aggression, from which fit nudity was
developed, was common in other cultures also? In order to answer this
question, one should consider another aspect of Greek life, somewhat unique in
Greek properties, the hero cult,49 which was connected with games.’O Greek heroes
and gods proudly displayed their physical energy and demanded the same thing
from their devotees. The existence of Heracles at Olympia was of prime
Significance for the survival of the custom of nudity in Greek athletics because
he was, by custom, a nude hero and a naked warrior-athlete par excellence
whose nudity was imitated by the sportsmen.
If nudity was seen as favorable to the warrior-athlete, why was it kept merely
in sport since ancient warriors needed protection and assertiveness at least as
Considerably as athletes? The Greeks while winning their way to classical civilization
retained the custom of nudity in sports but they were not conscious of the
Competitive aspect of it as were their remote ancestors. To put it differently, the custom
of nudity continued into a higher culture but the practice of endeavouring to
Risk-free protection in this fashion had been lost or left. This was the primary
reason that the classical warrior had no comprehension of this feeling of
protection. This is also the instance with numerous current tribes among whom the
habit of nudity for aggression predominated but is quickly evaporating as they
Slowly come under the effect 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 indication of a
barbarian. The reason why the Greeks fell in love with their nudity isn’t the
Objective of this paper. That job has been well done by other writers. 51
48. G. M. A. Richter, Kouroi:Archaic Greek Yourhs ( , 1960), p. 1. Additionally see Bonfante, (Efruscan, pp.
20, 28) who writes that the Etruscan equivalent of a Greek kouros wears a perizoma. The second half of the 8th
century, as the period of the change from the warrior-athlete nudity to athletic nudity, should be viewed with
some reservations because the scanty material evidence may be deceptive. Additionally, one cannot exclude the
Job of artistic convention in the substance evidence cited here.
49. Herodotos (2.50) said that heroes have no place in the faith of Egypt. Also see Peter Kahane,
“The Cesnola Krater from Kourion in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Iconological Study in Greek
Geometric Artwork,” in The Archaeology of Cyprus: Recent Developments, ed. Noel Robertson (Park Ridge, N.J.:
Noyes Press, 1975). 185. For an exhaustive investigation of the hero cult in both ancient and historic Greece see
Erwin Rohde. Psyche: The Cult of Souls and Belief in Immortality Among the Greeks (London. 1950), pp. 115-155;
Farnell, Greek Hero Cults. passim; A.D. Neck, “The Cult of Heroes,” Harvard Theological Review 37 (1944):
50. See Rohde, Soul, pp. 116-l 17; Mircea Eliade. A History of Religious Ideas from the Stone Age to the
EIeusinian Mysteries (Chicago, 1978), pp. 285, . For references found throughout ancient Greek literature,
concerning the matches 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 merely that exposure to the air and the sunlight-tub are. as physicians now