so. 1 The lack of material evidence and the conflicting early sources make such

nudist teen photos . It is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate
that nudity in Greek athletics had its roots in prehistoric Greece and was
Associated with the warrior-athlete whose training and competition in the games
was at the exact same time his preparation for war. The distinction between warriorathlete and sportsman is that both were bare but the former wore in particular occasions
some parts of his panoply which he discarded as time went on.
In 520 B.C. the armed race (Fig. 1) was introduced at Olympia which can
partly be explained as a reminiscence of the warrior-athlete. The competitions
were naked except for a helmet and greaves, and taken a shield. It is possible
that this kind of race was practiced in some local competitions before its

Intro into the Olympic program. Similar races were held at Nemea and
according to Philostratos were of great antiquity.2
In Athens an attempt was made at the close of the sixth century to
introduce loincloths into athletic competitions. This is evident from a small
Amount of black determined Athenian vases (Figs, 2,3) that depict athletes wearing
loincloths. This effort apparently failed, and nudity again became the fashion
in athletic contest. It’s possible that this is what Thucydides and Plato had in mind
when they wrote the launch of nudity in the games had taken place
just before their own time. The few of these vases (520-500 B.C.)
* I am thankful for the useful criticism and comments of anonymous reviewers of this Journal.
1. For references see lames Arieti, “Nudity in Greek Athletics,” The Classical World 68 (1975): 431-436.
Also see Kenneth Clark, The Nude:A Study of Ideal Art (London, 1957), pp.21. 162, 163. These studies offer an
admirable help toward understanding a phenomenon within a higher civilization. When, however, one strives to locate
the source of the problem, which is disoriented in the dark mists of ancient time he cannot use the same reasoning (selfcontrol, health and attractiveness arguments) to describe it. If one does so he must be prepared to acknowledge that all races of the
world started their existence on earth at the underparts of the the scale with the exception of the Greeks. But the Greeks,
like all other human races, commenced their career at the underparts of the the scale and worked their way upward from
savagery to civilization and true retained some survivals of that old condition. This paper attempts to explain the
same problem, which is nudity in Greek sports, by looking into the animal part of human nature, the early
State of the human race, its emotional nature and reasoning, its mental and moral powers, and its protracted
Battle against anxiety.
2. Philostratos Gymn 7. For Philostratos as an inaccurate source see E. L. Bowie, “Greeks and Their Past in
the Second Sophistic,” Past and Present 46 (1970): 17. For more on the armed-race see Aristophanes Fowl 291;
PlatoLaws 833a; Pausanias 2.11.8; 5.12.8; 6.10.4; Pollux 3.3; Philostratos Gymn. 8, 24.

Red-figure Attic Vase. E. Norman Gardiner, “Notes on the Greek Foot Race,” JHS 23
(1903) fig. 14. (Courtesy of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies).
prompted some scholars to raise the question of reintroduction of loincloths in
athletics.3 This wasn’t an effort to “reintroduce” but rather to introduce
loincloths in the games because prior to these vase representations there is
nothing in Greek art to indicate the existence of loincloths in sports. The
alleged change from loincloths to nudity isn’t illustrated in any Greek artwork.
Thucydides wrote that the Spartans “were the first to bare and,
after stripping openly, to anoint themselves with oil when they participated in
athletic exercise.” Dionysios of Halicarnassos believed that “The first man who
at the close of the sixth century to introduce the loincloth and that this temporary way is the reason for
Thucydides’ statement?” See E. Norman Cardiner, Sport of the Ancient World (Oxford, 1930), p. 191
(hereafter mentioned as AAW). On loincloths see, e.g., J. C. Mann, “Gymnazo in Thucydides 1.6.5-6,” Classical
Review 24 (1974): 77, who wrote: “While the representations of sportsmen on vases had typically depicted them
naked, it may be that an effort to reintroduce loincloths were made in Greece before Thucydides’ time (as
suggested by E. N. Gardiner [AAW] advertising amount 163 .)”. James Arieti, “Nudity in Greek Sport,” [431 11.31
said: “E. Norman Gardiner [AAW, p, 191] proposes, on the basis of a vase belonging to the end of the sixth century
in which the athletes wear a white loincloth, that an effort may have been made to reintroduce the loincloth at
this time. But Gardiner is himself quite uncertain on this point, lifting it only as a question, and there is no actual
Signs the loincloth was re-introduced.” Both Mann’s and Arieti’s statements are erroneous since Gardiner