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Encyclopedia > Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
Pompeii gymnasium, seen from the top of the stadium wall. The depression center-left was filled with water and used for swimming practice as well. Mock sea battles (naumachiae) were conducted in the flooded arena floor or a specially dug pool in the arena. According to Oscar Brockett in his History of the Theatre, 5th Ed. (1987), p. 70, "Perhaps the most spectacular of all entertainments were the naumachiae, or sea battles. The first was given in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar on a lake dug for the occasion; it featured a battle involving 2,000 marines and 6,00 oarsmen. Later the amphitheatres were sometimes flooded for such events. By far the most ambitious of all the naumachiae was given in 52 A.D. on the Fucine Lake east of Rome to celebrate the completion of a water conduit. On that occasion, 19,000 participants fought and many perished. To the right (partially obscured by a tree trunk) is a line of carbonized tree stumps, remains of trees (each hundreds of years old) that were part of the palaistra and were burned in the volcanic eruption of 79. Between these and the colonnade is a line of saplings recently planted as a replacement.
Pompeii gymnasium, seen from the top of the stadium wall. The depression center-left was filled with water and used for swimming practice as well. Mock sea battles (naumachiae) were conducted in the flooded arena floor or a specially dug pool in the arena. According to Oscar Brockett in his History of the Theatre, 5th Ed. (1987), p. 70,

"Perhaps the most spectacular of all entertainments were the naumachiae, or sea battles. The first was given in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar on a lake dug for the occasion; it featured a battle involving 2,000 marines and 6,00 oarsmen. Later the amphitheatres were sometimes flooded for such events. By far the most ambitious of all the naumachiae was given in 52 A.D. on the Fucine Lake east of Rome to celebrate the completion of a water conduit. On that occasion, 19,000 participants fought and many perished. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see Pompeii (disambiguation). ... Swimmer redirects here. ...

To the right (partially obscured by a tree trunk) is a line of carbonized tree stumps, remains of trees (each hundreds of years old) that were part of the palaistra and were burned in the volcanic eruption of 79. Between these and the colonnade is a line of saplings recently planted as a replacement.

The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Greek term gymnos meaning naked. Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to encourage aesthetic appreciation of the male body and a tribute to the Gods. Some early tyrants feared gymnasia facilitated politically subversive erotic attachments between competitors. [1] Gymnasia and palestrae were under the protection and patronage of Heracles, Hermes and, in Athens, Theseus.[2] This article is about the mountain in Italy. ... This article is about the year 79. ... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... For other uses, see Game (disambiguation). ... Nude redirects here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Pederastic courtship scene Athenian black-figure amphora, 5th c. ... Pompeii palaestra seen from the top of the stadium wall. ... Alcides redirects here. ... For other uses, see Hermes (disambiguation). ... Theseus (Greek ) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night (By some accounts, this was presented as a rape). ...

Contents

Etymology of gymnasium

Gymnasium is a Latin and English derivative of the original Greek noun gymnasion. Gymnasion is derived from the common Greek adjective gymnos (γυμνός), meaning "naked", by way of the related verb gymnazein, whose meaning is "to do physical exercise". The verb had this meaning because one undressed for exercise. Hence the noun, which appears to mean "place to be naked", means "place for physical exercise". Historically, the gymnasium was used for exercise, communal bathing, and scholarly and philosophical pursuits. The English noun gymnast, first recorded in 1594,[3] is formed from the Greek gymnastēs, but in Greek this word means "trainer" not "gymnast". The palaistra was the part of the gymnasium devoted to wrestling, boxing and ball games. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... U.S. Marine emerging from the swim portion of a triathlon. ... Children bathing in a small metal bathtub Bathing is the immersion of the body in fluid, usually water, or an aqueous solution. ... Ancient Greek philosophy focused on the role of reason and inquiry. ... Gymnasts are people who participate in the sports of either artistic gymnastics or rhythmic gymnastics. ... Events February 27 - Henry IV is crowned King of France at Rheims. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Pompeii palaestra seen from the top of the stadium wall. ... FILA Greatest Wrestler of 20th Century (Greco-Roman) Alexander Karelin throws Olympian Jeff Blatnick with his Karelin Lift. Amateur wrestling is the most widespread form of sport wrestling. ... For other meanings of these words, see boxing (disambiguation) or boxer. ... Alternate uses: See Ball (disambiguation) A ball is a round object that is used most often in sports and games. ...


Organisation of ancient Greek gymnasia

The gymnasium was formed as a public institution (a private school) where boys received training in physical exercises. Its organisation and construction were designed to suit that purpose, though the gymnasium was used for other functions as well. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... For the film of this title, see Private School (film). ...


Origins, rules and customs

A hermaic sculpture of an old man, thought to be the master of a gymnasium. He held a long stick in his right hand. Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century BC.
A hermaic sculpture of an old man, thought to be the master of a gymnasium. He held a long stick in his right hand. Ai Khanoum, Afghanistan, 2nd century BC.

The athletic contests for which the gymnasium supplied the means of training and competition formed part of the social and spiritual life of the Greeks from very early on. The contests took place in honour of heroes and gods, sometimes forming part of a periodic festival or the funeral rites of a deceased chief. The free and active Greek lifestyle (spent to a great extent in the open air) reinforced the attachment to such sports and after a period of time the contests became a prominent element in Greek culture. The victor in religious athletic contests, though he gained no material prize other than a wreath, was rewarded with the honour and respect of his fellow citizens. Training of competitors for the greater contests was a matter of public concern and special buildings were provided by the state for such use, with management entrusted to public officials. A victory in the great religious festivals was counted an honour for the whole state.[citation needed] Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 387 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1138 × 1763 pixel, file size: 746 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Sculpture of an old man. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 387 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1138 × 1763 pixel, file size: 746 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Sculpture of an old man. ... Herma of Demosthenes on the market place of Athens, work by Polyeuktos, ca. ... Hellenistic foot fragment of a giant statue, from Ai-Khanoum, 2nd century BCE. Ai-Khanoum or Ay Khanum (lit. ... (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium) The 2nd century BC started on January 1, 200 BC and ended on December 31, 101 BC. // Coin of Antiochus IV. Reverse shows Apollo seated on an omphalos. ...


The regulation of the Athenian gymnasium is attributed by Pausanias (i. 39. 3) to Theseus. Solon made several laws on the subject; according to Galen these were reduced to a workable system of management in the time of Cleisthenes (late 400s and early 500s BC). While the origins of physical exercise regimes cannot be pinpointed, the practice of exercising in the nude had its beginnings in the seventh century BC. It is believed that the custom began in Sparta, and while various theories have been advanced, it is commonly thought that the main reason for the convention was the eroticisation of the male body. The same purpose is frequently attributed to the tradition of oiling the body, a custom so costly that it required significant public and private subsidies (the practice was the largest expense in gymnasia). This article is about the capital of Greece. ... Pausanias (Greek: ) was a Greek traveller and geographer of the 2nd century A.D., who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. ... Theseus (Greek ) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night (By some accounts, this was presented as a rape). ... For other uses, see Solon (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Galen (disambiguation). ... Cleisthenes (also Clisthenes or Kleisthenes) was a noble Athenian of the accursed Alcmeonidate family. ...


Fascination with the beauty of the male body, reflected in the twin practices of athletic nudity and decoration with olive oil, is linked to the concurrent introduction of pederasty as an educational institution. This athletics-pederasty complex saw its beginnings in the Spartan agoge in the early seventh century BCE and quickly spread to the other city-states. Its association with the culture of gymnasia is attested to by Plato, who identifies those states that "especially encourage the use of gymnasia" as being notable for their pederastic traditions.[4][5] Pederastic courtship scene Athenian black-figure amphora, 5th c. ... The agoge was a rigorous education and training regime undergone by all Spartan citizens (with the exception of future kings [1]). It involved separation from the family, cultivation of loyalty to ones group, loving mentorship, military training, hunting, dance and social preparation. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ...


Organization in Athens

In Athens, ten gymnasiarchs were appointed annually, one from each tribe[citation needed]. These officials rotated through a series of jobs, each with unique duties. They were responsible for looking after and compensating persons training for public contests, conducting the games at the great Athenian festivals, exercising general supervision over competitor moral, and decorating and maintaining the gymnasium[citation needed]. The office was one of many ordinary public services and so great expense was entailed on the gymnasiarchs[citation needed]. Beneath them in the organisational structure were ten sophronistae responsible for observing the conduct of the youths and (especially) for attending all their games[citation needed]. For other uses, see Festival (disambiguation). ...


Paedotribae and gymnastae were responsible for teaching the methods involved in the various exercises, as well as choosing suitable athletics for the youths[citation needed]. The gymnastae were also responsible for monitoring the constitution of the pupils and prescribing remedies for them if they became unwell. The aleiptae oiled and dusted the bodies of the youths, acted as surgeons, and administered any drugs prescribed[citation needed]. According to Galen, there also existed a teacher specifically devoted to instruction in ball games. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Construction

Gymnasia were typically large structures containing spaces for each type of exercise as well as a stadium, palaistra, baths, outer porticos for practice in bad weather, and covered porticos where philosophers and other "men of letters" gave public lectures and held disputations[citation needed]. All Athenian gymnasia were located outside the city walls due to the large amount of space required for construction[citation needed]. This article is about the building type. ...


Development and legacy

Image File history File links Question_book-3. ...

Historical development

The ancient Greek gymnasium soon became a place for more than exercise. This development arose through recognition by the Greeks of the strong relation between athletics, education and health. Accordingly, the gymnasium became connected with education on the one hand and medicine on the other. Physical training and maintenance of health and strength were the chief parts of children's earlier education[citation needed]. Except for time devoted to letters and music, the education of boys was solely conducted in the gymnasium, where provisions were made not only for physical pedagogy but for instruction in morals and ethics. As pupils grew older, informal conversation and other forms of social took the place of institutional, systematic discipline[citation needed]. Philosophers and sophists frequently assembled to hold talks and lectures in the gymnasium; thus the institution became a resort for those interested in less structured intellectual pursuits in addition to those using the place for training in physical exercises. For the chemical substances known as medicines, see medication. ... Sophism was originally a term for the techniques taught by a highly respected group of philosophy and rhetoric teachers in ancient Greece. ...


In Athens there were three great public gymnasia: the Academy, the Lyceum and the Cynosarges,[6] each of which was dedicated to a deity whose statue adorned the structure and each of which was rendered famous by association with a celebrated school of philosophy[citation needed]. Plato's teaching in the Academy gave great recognition to that gymnasium, Aristotle conferred much fame on the Lyceum, and the Cynosarges was the resort of the Cynics[citation needed]. This article is about the capital of Greece. ... For other uses, see Academy (disambiguation). ... A Lyceum can be an educational institution (often a school of secondary education in Europe), or a public hall used for cultural events like concerts. ... Cynosarges was a public gymnasium in Ancient Athens. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This article is about the ancient Greek school of philosophy. ...


Plato considered gymnastics to be an important part of education (see Republic iii. and parts of Laws) and according to him it was the sophist Prodicus who first pointed out the connection between gymnastics and health. Having found gymnastic exercises beneficial to his own weak constitution, Prodicus formulated a method that became generally accepted and was subsequently improved by Hippocrates[citation needed]. Galen also put great stress on the proper and frequent use of gymnastics. Throughout other ancient Greek medical writings special exercises are prescribed as cures for specific diseases, showing the extent to which the Greeks considered health and fitness connected[citation needed]. The same connection is commonly suggested by experts today[citation needed]. The Republic is an influential dialogue by Plato, written in the first half of the 4th century BC. This Socratic dialogue mainly is about political philosophy and ethics. ... The Laws is Platos last and longest dialogue. ... For other uses, see Hippocrates (disambiguation). ...


Classical legacy

The Greek gymnasium never became popular with the Romans, who believed the training of boys in gymnastics conducive to idleness and immorality, and of little use for militaristic reasons (though in Sparta gymnastic training had been valued chiefly because it encouraged warlike tastes, promoted the bodily strength needed to use weapons and ensured the fortitude required to endure hardship)[citation needed]. In the Roman Republic, games in the Campus Martius, duties of camp life, and forced marches and other hardships of warfare took the place of the gymnastic exercises of the Greeks[citation needed]. The first public gymnasium in Rome was built by Nero – another was built later by Commodus. For modern day Sparta, see Sparti (municipality). ... Model of the ancient Campus Martius around 300 AD The Pantheon, a landmark of the Campus Martius since ancient Rome. ... For other uses, see Nero (disambiguation). ... Lucius Aurelius Commodus Antoninus (August 31, 161 – December 31, 192) was a Roman Emperor who ruled from 180 to 192 (also with Marcus Aurelius from 177 until 180). ...


In the Middle Ages, jousting, feats of horsemanship and field sports of various kinds became popular and the more systematic training of the body associated with the Greek gymnasium was neglected. It was no longer commonly believed that special exercises had specific therapeutic values, as Hippocrates and Galen once preached. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ...


Notes

  1. ^ Polycrates of Samos is given as an example. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 602c
  2. ^ Pausanias (geographer), Guide to Greece, 4.32.1
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  4. ^ Plato, Laws, 636c
  5. ^ Thomas F. Scanlon, "The Dispersion of Pederasty and the Athletic Revolution in Sixth-Century BC Greece", in Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West, ed. B. C. Verstraete and V. Provencal, Harrington Park Press, 2005; passim
  6. ^ J. Burnet, Plato's Euthyphro, Apology of Socrates, and Crito, p. 7.

Polycrates, son of Aeaces, was the tyrant of Samos from 535 BC to 515 BC. He took power during a festival of Hera with his brothers Pantagnotus and Syloson, but soon had Pantagnotus killed and exiled Syloson to take full control for himself. ... Athenaeus (ca. ... The Deipnosophistes (deipnon “dinner” and sophistae, “the wise ones”) is variously translated as The Banquet of the Learned or Philosophers at Dinner or The Gastronomers is work of some 15 books (some complete and some surviving in summaries only) by the ancient Greek author Athenaeus of Naucratis in Egypt, written... Pausanias (Greek: ) was a Greek traveller and geographer of the 2nd century A.D., who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. ... The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... John Burnet (1863–1928) was a Scottish classicist. ...

See also

Corybantian dance, the type of dance most likely danced on Gymnopedia festivals (image from Smiths Dictionary of Antiquities) Gymnopaedia derives from the ancient Greek γυμνοπαιδία, a festivity in Sparta, where naked youths would perform war dances. ... Pederastic courtship scene Athenian black-figure amphora, 5th c. ... A gymnasium (pronounced with or, in Swedish, as opposed to ) is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English Grammar Schools and U.S. High Schools. ... Modern indoor gymnasium with pull-down basketball hoops. ...

References

  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Gymnasium (ancient Greece) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1056 words)
The gymnasium of the Greeks originally functioned as the school where competitors in the public games received their training, and was so named from the circumstance that these competitors exercised naked (gymnos).
The gymnasium formed a public institution as - a private school where boys received training in physical exercises, though the term palaestra also often refers to the part of a gymnasium specially devoted to wrestling and boxing.
The regulation of the gymnasium at Athens is attributed by Pausanias (i.
Encyclopedia: Gymnasium (school) (2725 words)
A gymnasium is a type of school of secondary education in parts of Europe.
In the German-speaking, the Scandinavian and the Benelux countries gymnasium has, at least since the protestant reformation in the 16th century, had the meaning of a secondary school preparing for higher education at university.
In Italy, the first two years of high school are called Gymnasium if the high school chosen is a classical lyceum (a particular secondary school focusing on Latin and Greek as well as literature).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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