of the kouroswere its nakedness,its youth, and, thus, its beauty. But what was the significanceof

http://nudismphotos.net/?p=173 ? The kouros appears to have been in some
way “archetypal”;it was used in a varietyof circumstances.
Like the kore, it could stand as a markerover a grave
or as a dedicationin a safety.41 A kouros sometimes representedApollo (fig. 2),42 and was sometimes
dedicatedfor an athletic success. Given the relationship frequently supposed, no doubt correctly,between the
nudity of the kouros figure and fit nudity, it’s
somewhat surprising to notice that no kouroi were
found at Olympia. Kouroi and korai were the “emblems and embodiment of Archaic Greece’s aristocracy-its beautiful people”; they were the visible

Type of their ideals of beauty and nobility, of their
heroic arete and kalokagathia.43 Although I think a
connection with fit nudity existed, I believe it
was indirectrather than direct. The kouroi weren’t,
as has been pointed out, mainly fit. Their
various functions were all in some way religious.
They were presents for the gods, or for the dead. In some
cases, as mentionedabove,they actually did signify
a god, Apollo (fig. 2). Brunilde Ridgway has sug-

NUDITY AS A COSTUME IN CLASSICALART

gested that the broad, leather-backed belt some kouroi
wear may have been an aspect of Apollo, and of
divinity. According to Andrew Stewart, nevertheless, it
represented a passing fashion. Other attributes, such
as jewelry (the Metropolitan Museum’s kouros wears
a necklace), boots (Kleobis’s and Biton’s at Delphi), or
Elaborate hairstyles of various sorts may have entailed
another spiritual organization, for which the nudity of
the kouroi provided a “costume”: the initiations of
youths into manhood, and into their proper rank.44
In Greece, full fledged initiations are understood from
Dorian Crete, and from Sparta. Inscriptions bear witness to herds of youths stripping off their clothes (ekdyomenoi), while the younger boys wore girlish
clothes. In Athens the association of the ephebeia still
bears the marks of initiation motifs.45 The gymnopaidiai of Sparta, which chose their name from the nudity
of the participants, were the best known initiation rites in antiquity.46
The kouros sort fits the concept of the holy quality of nudity: its nakedness signified a characteristic of
initiation rite. It referred to those spiritual dancing
and rites that called for the nominee’s nakedness as
a special costume or custom. Perhaps the elaborately
dressed pattern of the hair also represented part of a
ritual costume.

was to fight against Old Age, which conquers all humans.49 As we have seen, a nude young man was
Consistently amazing, even if dead; a naked old man was
ugly, a thing of shame. In contrast to the big, erect
phallus of the magic, apotropaic body, a beautiful
young man was defined by a little organ. For
Girls, too, whether they were represented nude or
dressed, in art, literature, and life, depilation and
small breasts were part of the ideal of youthful beauty.o50It was more than an obsession with male nudity:
Athenians were infatuated, constantly fascinated, by
the appeal of youth. The truth is, if the nudity of the ephebe
became the “costume” of the citizen in Athens, it was
because the Athenians idealized the youthfulness of
the 16-year old ephebe. Until he became a hoplite at
18, he stood for the most resplendent of physical
Attractiveness, on the brink of manhood, with only the bloom
of hair on his cheeks.”‘
This was the ephemeral moment of attractiveness Athenian artists wanted to capture in their statues of kouroi. Such an emphasis on youth is closely related to
Fit nudity, also to be seen in the ritual, religious
Circumstance of early Greek nudity, although, as in the case
of the Rampin Horseman, older guys also seemed
http://nudenudist.com/tube/i-had-wanted-for-a-long-time-to-go-to-a-nude-beach-and-finally-made-it/ .

Age classes, which exist in primitive societies and
even among the primates, were well known in Classical Greece. The separation of athletes or soldiers according to age groups went back to early times, and
was observed at Olympia from the seventh century on
at least. The nudity of the sportsmen, which was so significant part of the custom of the competitions held
every four years at the safety, must have been a
part of the initiation rituals of youths, in the religious
Circumstance of the holy place.52
Greek and Roman authors pay a good deal of attention to the Greek custom of fit nudity.”3 Various
writers recorded the details of its origin. They concurred it
had taken place in the context of the Olympic games,
but disagreed about the date and the individual responsible for this innovation.54 According to some, a certain
Orsippus of Megara won the footrace at Olympia
when he lost his perizoma on the way, finishing the
race naked while the others still wore their loincloths.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus says it was Acanthus the
Lacedaemonian, in the 15th Olympiad (720-716
B.C.), who started the awesome custom. Thucydides additionally
credits the Lacedaemonians or Spartans with setting
the example for a custom eventually universal among