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Minoan Fisherman

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  • Minoan Fisherman

    I'd like to present to you the fresco of a Minoan Fisherman featured in a house in the village of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini. Akrotiri became Greece's Pompeii when the volcano at the center of the Santorini's bay erupted circa 1600 BC. It has been argued that nudity in ancient Greek art is a stylistic element and that the ancient Greeks did not ordinarily go nude. The fresco refutes this at least with regard to the early Minoan civilization. It appears to show an ordinary man going about his occupation nude. It appears there was no obligation to be clothed in Minoan society.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mosquito_Bait View Post
    It appears there was no obligation to be clothed in Minoan society.
    Or at least that there were certain contexts in which nudity was a socially acceptable outfit. Clothing has context. What one would wear to the beach is different than what one would wear to a board room. So a person might fish nude, or engage in other strenuous, sweaty, dirty work nude, but be expected to dress when walking down the street or eating at a cafe.


    • #3
      In the case of the Minoan fisherman shown in the first post, the man is not actively fishing. He is carrying his catch someplace. Given the size and number of the fish, it is quite likely that he is carrying them to a market. We can't know that nudity was acceptable in the middle of the market during the middle of the day, but certainly he was on shore and walking toward a populated area.

      In the case of the fishermen shown in the second post, quite clearly they are fishing and they are in a boat away from the shoreline. A stronger case could be made that the social acceptability of their nudity was limited to their work.

      In both cases, the fact that the art work was prominently displayed implies some degree of acceptance of nudity.


      • #4
        Agreed. And it could have been perfectly acceptable to walk through town carrying a heavy load, or pulling a cart, or stacking fish, or doing any number of other things unclothed. But it may not have been acceptable to stroll down the street, doing some shopping nude.

        My quibble was with the statement "It appears there was no obligation to be clothed in Minoan society." There may very well have been an obligation to be clothed, but there were also contexts where being nude was acceptable, too.

        So I violently agree with you.