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 hint was common over a
blacksmith’s forge in Italy in order to shield the horses that came to him to be shod since the horses were
Specially liable to malign influence; so the smith naturally supplied the finest possible protection for the horses
by which he got his living. [See George Dennis, Ciries and Cemeteries of Etruria, ( http://rudenudist.com/tube/that-they-had-found-a-nude-beach-on-the-coastline/ , 1907), 2:119]. In
Rome, Fascinus, later identified with the foreign god Priapus, was an extremely ancient god and was signified under
the form of a phallus. It was believed his main obligation was to avert evil and evil spirits. Victorious generals had the
image of Fascinus before their automobiles inside their triumphant 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 sacred item and was
offered at village shrines of the rice state to avert calamity like famine or disease (see Rawson, Simple
Erotic Art, p. 72). On the island of Nias when a disease has broken out, then strange and frightful figures with
Outstanding big organs of sex are set up to frighten away the evil spirit causing the illness (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
shows that in some scenarios the phallus and its symbolism are not apotropaic but rather to secure fecundity. A quite
common feature in the Dionysaic service was the “phallophoria,” the carrying round of the figure in wood
of the male sexual organ, a ritual which is a kind of the magic of fertilization. A similar ritual 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 sometimes still are performed in pure nudism to remove barrenness and
Protected fertility. In certain 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 very long pole, 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 power has been highlighted by many writers. Kenneth Clark noted

that “it was the Greeks, by their idealization of guy, who turned the human
body into an incarnation of energy.” Moreover,
The Greeks discovered in the nude two embodiments of energy, which lived on
throughout European art nearly until our own day. They are the athlete and the
hero; and from the beginning they were closely connected with one another. 40
It really is likely that the early Greek warrior-athlete or hero-sportsman believed that
his nudity acted as a screen which guarded him from many evils and at the same
time supplied 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 is, indeed, a close
Link between Heracles and this sort of nudity. Enough evidence exists to
show that Heracles’ aboriginal aspect was warlike and heroic. Both stuff
and literary sources indicate that Heracles originally appeared as a warrior. The
most archaic figures found at Olympia symbolize nude warriors equipped with
large helmets, little shields, and spears. These helmeted statues that may
represent 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 naked 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 naked in the temple of Zeus at Olympia in the metope of the
Cretan Bull. Gardiner believed that this story is old and that nakedness by the
artist without any support from tradition isn’t conceivable. Again, the same
can be said of the scene in the metope where Heracles appears nude receiving
44
from Atlas the apples of the Hesperides. At Corinth, we learn from Pausanias

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