The ancient Greeks knew it wasn’t rude to be nude by telegraph

Naked beauty is true beauty

Naturist Holidays in Europe

Today’s gym bunnies owe everything to the classical reverence for the naked body, says Harry Mount

From Bondi Beach to Santa Monica, gym bunnies are in search of one thing – a six-pack worthy of Adonis, the Greek god of beauty. It’s no coincidence that we still think of ancient Greece as the natural home to the perfect body, alongside Homer, Doric columns and democracy.

As a forthcoming exhibition at the British Museum will show, the Greeks weren’t just obsessed with athleticism – like you’d expect of the founders of the original Olympic Games. They also revered the naked body, in a way no previous civilisation had. In fact, they combined nakedness with athleticism. “Gymnasium” is derived from the Greek, gymnos, meaning “naked” – the state people exercised in.

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