Naked ambition: when the Greeks first stripped off

Nudity was a kind of costume, an idea enhanced by the fact that much time seems to have been spent oiling oneself up and scraping oneself down. The best condiment for the body was that olive oil produced from the sacred olive trees given to Athens by Athena and awarded as prizes in the games that accompanied her birthday. The resulting salty “boy gloop” or paidikos gloios was sometimes collected and used to treat ailments and signs of ageing.

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