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William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

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The Afternoon at the Gymnasia

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Page 10

The Greeks unite Moral and Physical Beauty

 

    But here at the Academy, this spirit of beautiful youth, and the "joy of life," is everywhere dominant. All around us are the beautiful bodies of young men engaged in every kind of graceful exercise. When we question, we are told that current belief is that in a great majority of instances there is a development and a symmetry of mind corresponding to the glory of the body. It is contrary to all the prevalent notions of the reign of "divine harmony" to have it otherwise. The gods abhor all gross contradictions! Even now men will argue over a strange breach of this rule;—why did heaven suffer Socrates to have so beautiful a soul set in so ugly a body?—Inscrutable are the ways of Zeus!

    However, we have generalized and wandered enough. The Academy is a place of superabounding activities. Let us try to comprehend some of them.

 

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