chapter
Nudity
Pages 4

Male public nudity reportedly originated in Crete and was introduced to SPARTA by Lykourgos (Plato, Resp. 425c-457b, 458d). Spartan gymnopaidíai (nude boys events) began after their defeat at Hysiae (668 BCE; Xenophon, Hell. 6.4.16; Plutarch, Lyc. 15.12); boys and MARRIED men cut their HAIR and chanted that they had been justly punished. After their successful battle at Thyrea (ca. 547), the gymnopaidia celebrates victory; only the boys are nude and wear their hair short, while the men don a feather crown (cf. Tyrtaeus 10.26-7; Papalas 1991).