Sunday, July 25, 2004

Historian writes with point about private parts

A chap has posted a comment to my 'original Olympians' post below - here it is to save you having to click...

4. OlympIans also enhanced the aerodyamics of their naked bodies by hoisting their most private part in a kynodesme. For an elegant illustration of a Greek athlete in all his glory, go to your earlier post, below: Naked Olympic action!

Yrs - A Historian With An Eye for Detail."

The post of mine he's referring to is shown below (Fri Jul 9) - and that does indeed refer to the very programme I watched the other night, 'The First Olympian'. However, the programme was an hour long and I only caught the last 35 minutes. I can categorically state that at no point during those 35 minutes did anybody get nekkid and start messing with their privates. And no reference was made to them doing so.

So, did anybody see the first 25 minutes? Was that the bit where the hardcore kynodesme-hoisting action took place? If anyone knows, I'd be very interested to hear.

Meanwhile, our new historian friend would be very welcome to share more such enlightening Olympian info with us. Perhaps he could start by revealing what, exactly, a kynodesme is?


Anonymous said...

Naturally Her Majesty's BBC Horizon didn't dare show athletic dangly bits. In the end the putative Olympic athlete Dr Stephen Instone may have been naked, but failed to maximise his aerodynamics by wearing a kynodesme.
As keen-eyed readers of this blog will have read under your post "Naked Olympic Action":
The kynodesme (literally a "dog leash") was a thin leather thong wound around the akroposthion (the extremity of the foreskin) that pulled the penis upward and was tied in a bow, tied around the waist, or secured by some other means.
Vase paintings and statues frequently portray nude athletes wearing the kynodesme (*see link below). One of the most informative iconographic representations is found on an Attic red-figure calyx-krater painted by Euphronios, dating from 520–510 B.C.E. which shows a young athlete in the process of grasping the lips of his akroposthion with the fingers of his left hand and pulling the prepuce taut while his right hand is poised ready to loop the kynodesme around the neck of the akroposthion.
* A perfect illustration of the kynodesme tied in a bow can be seen in a panathenaic amphora, attributed to the Triptolemos painter, dating from about 480 B.C.E.: Munich 2314, Antikensammlungen; Beazley, ARV (n. 3), 1: 362, no. 14; illustrated in Reinhard Lullies, ed., Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum. Deutschland. M√ľnchen Museum antiken Kleinkunst 4 (Munich: Beck, 1956), plate 197.
[Extracted from: Frederick M. Hodges. The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 75, no. 3 (Fall 2001): pp. 375-405.]

Yrs - A Historian With An Eye for Detail.

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