The Architecture of Physical Culture in Ancient Greece
The paper discusses the interaction between the culture of the body and architectural creativity in Ancient Greece. This interaction is rooted in a concern for personal and group security, the basis of which was physical fitness, as well as in the immersion of Greek reality in religion, which depicted gods and goddesses in perfect human bodies. Together with a developed feeling for the community, these two aspects stimulated the design of a special architecture devoted to physical culture. Baths, gymnasiums, palaestras, stadiums, hippodromes and theatres are original flashes of Greek architectural genius. They are golden ‘vessels’ devoted to the admiration of beauty, agility and the expressive power of the body – virtues which paved the way to a godlike semblance for every Greek.
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