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TA K I

A CULT OF COVERED NUDES

SUMMER’S FINALLY HERE, and as the Ancient Greeks in their infinite wisdom insisted, when it’s hot it’s better to be naked than overdressed. In GrecoRoman art, nudity symbolized divinity, and as man was made in God’s image, his corporeal splendor was the measure of all things. Therefore, in portraying man at his idealized best, Greek and Roman artists always depicted him in the nude. Nudity also represented one’s physical and mental condition—heroism, strength, and vitality. In Greek society, athletes routinely trained naked in public, although, as far as I know, there were no hurdle events back then. Women, however, were deprived of such freedoms for the most part, and 56 QUEST

had to cover themselves when out in public. (And rightly so, we wouldn’t like to see sweet young things being harassed by the Harveys and Charlies and Matts of that time, would we now?) Nevertheless, Greek artists were no male chauvinist pigs. They often portrayed young females as males, at times even as female semi-nudes, and as goddesses, particularly Artemis and Aphrodite, resplendently naked. My direct ancestor, Takis, the great philosopher and contemporary of Plato and Socrates, knew a thing or two about hygiene and how important it was to wash. He didn’t strip as often as Harvey or Charlie or Matt did, but while researching this, I found in our family archives a note from Takis to

Quest July 2018  

The Summer Issue

Quest July 2018  

The Summer Issue