38. Scott, Phallic Worship, p. 105. For more references about the effectiveness of the phallus against the evil

eye see Burke, Construction and History, p. 40; and Bonfante, Erruscan, p. 102. The phallic sign was common over a
blacksmith’s forge in Italy in order to protect the horses that came to him to be shod since the horses were
Especially liable to malign influence; so the smith naturally supplied the best possible protection for the horses
by which he got his living. [See George Dennis, Ciries and Cemeteries of Etruria, (London, 1907), 2:119]. In
Rome, Fascinus, afterwards identified with the foreign god Priapus, was a really early god and was represented under
the kind of a phallus. It was believed his chief responsibility was to avert evil and bad spirits. Victorious generals had the
Picture of Fascinus before their cars inside their victorious march in Rome in order to be protected against the evil eye
(see E.R.E., S.V. “Phallism”). In the archaic Shinto religion of Japan the phallus was a holy item and was
offered at village shrines of the rice state to avert disaster for example famine or disease (see Rawson, Primitive
Erotic Art, p. 72). On the island of Nias when a disease has broken out, then bizarre and frightful figures with
Incredible large organs of sex are set up to frighten away the evil spirit causing the sickness (E.R.E., S.V.
“Phallism”).
39. J. G. R. Forlong, Rivers of Life (London, 1883) I: 189; Rawson, Primitive Erotic Art, p. 76. The evidence
Demonstrates that in some cases the phallus and its symbolism are not apotropaic but rather to secure fecundity. A really
common feature in the Dionysaic service was the “phallophoria,” the taking round of the figure in wood
of the male sexual organ, a rite that is a type of the magic of fertilization. A similar rite has been observed to
be still performed by the Greek Christians in the neighbourhood of Visa, the old Bizye, the capital of the old
Thracian kings. [See R. M. Dawkins, “The Modern Carnival in Thrace and the Cult of Dionysus,” Journal of
Hellenic Studies 26 (1906): 191-206; Farnell, Cults of the Greek Stares. 5: 1071. For more on the source of the
“phallophoria” see Henri Auguste Couat, Arisrophane et I’Ancienne Comedie Attique, (Paris, 1902), pp. 182,276,
381. Similar phallic processions were and in some instances still are performed in order to remove barrenness and
Protected fertility. In particular processions in honour of Legba in the Slave Coast of West Africa, the phallus is borne
aloft with great pomp, fastened to the end of a long post, something that reminds us of the “phallophoria”
described by Aristophanes. (For references in honour of Legba see Ellis, Ewe-Speaking. p. 44). A similar phallic

228

Origin of Nudity in Greek Athletics
The relevance of the human body and its symbolism as an incarnation of
energy and electricity has been emphasized by many writers. Kenneth Clark noted
that “it was the Greeks, by their idealization of guy, who turned the person
body into an incarnation of energy.” Also,
The Greeks found in the nude two embodiments of energy, which lived on
throughout European art nearly until our own time. They’re the athlete and the
hero; and from the start they were closely associated with one another. 40
It really is likely that the early Greek warrior-sportsman or hero-athlete believed that
his nudity acted as a screen which safeguarded him from many evils and at the same
time provided him with power and energy for his responsibilities.

This belief in the nudity of the warrior-athlete was concentrated on Heracles,
the hero in whose honour the games at Olympia may have been held until Zeus
was brought there and took over the Olympic festival. There’s, indeed, a close
Link between Heracles and this type of nudity. Enough evidence exists to
show that Heracles’ aboriginal aspect was warlike and brave. Both material
and literary sources indicate that Heracles initially appeared as a warrior. The
most archaic figures uncovered at Olympia represent naked warriors equipped with
large helmets, little shields, and spears. These helmeted statues that may
Signify Heracles were votive offerings of the winning athletes dedicated to
him, and took the form of the hero. In a later age, the votive offerings of
Olympia often took the form of the Olympian-Zeus in whose honour afterward the
Olympic Games were held.41
Heracles has been “traditionally a nude hero”42 and he seems bare in many
vase portrayals and other artifacts of the 7th century and early 6th century.
Sometimes he appears naked and lightly armed fighting against enemies.43
Heracles appears nude in the temple of Zeus at Olympia in the metope of the
Cretan Bull. Gardiner considered this storyline is old and that nakedness by the
artist with no support from tradition is not feasible. Again, the same
can be said of the scene in the metope where Heracles appears bare receiving
44
from Atlas the apples of the Hesperides. At Corinth, we learn from Pausanias

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