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Anthropometry

Anthropometry is a science started back in Ancient Greece, it took its roots in Geometry, which was a very popular discipline at the time, and attempted to measure the human body in its wide variety of aspects.

The Greeks believed that the man's purpose is to reach excellence in everything: "To love excellence is truly to love the gods." So after everything was measured and properly classified in the "normal state", the discipline naturally set the goal to discover what "excellent angles" the human body can assume. For that purpose the schools arranged groups of young athletes; through inspirational lectures and daily training they were meant to reach excellence in flexibility.

The discipline had respected schools in every big city, sometimes very talented kids would emerge from the country side as well: trained by their parents, they'd travel to the city on their own and beg the school's master to test them in order to take part in the study and find, in most cases, a better life in a better place.

The schools made regular demonstrations of their achievements and influenced quite a lot of thought in Philosophy. For example, after the philosopher Protagoras was invited to a festival where gymnasts displayed the ultimate angles and hidden potentials of the human body, he had said of it:


"Anthropos metron."
"Man is the measure (of all things)"

Several decades later, another such festival inspired the immortal quote of Plato:


"Aei ho theos geometrei"
"God always geometrizes".


Which was later transformed by Plutarch into a mnemonic for the number of Pi:


"Aei ho theos ho megas geometrei to sympan"
"Always the great god applies geometry to everything"


The number of letters in each word of the phrase gives the number of Pi (3,1415926...), though it would need to be written in the original Greek alphabet where 'ho' is a 1 letter word and 'theos' is actually 4 letters..

How about an alternative 33-digit mnemonic in English? XD


How I wish I could challenge my pliant limbs
And reach wondrous positions utterly beautiful,
But so far training took months of uneasy work
And yet practice has to improve imperfect skill.


3.14159265 / 358979 / 323846264 / 33832795... then there's a zero so in fact a 33-digit mnemonic is the longest you can possibly get, unless someone knows any 0-letter words, haha ^_^;; The first 5 words here were basically inspired by "How I wish I could calculate pi", the default English mnemonic ^_^

As we know, the constant Pi is equal to the angle of the perfect 180 degrees split. In the Anthropology books the straddle split position is often referred to as the Pi position, so doing the whole Pi pretty much means learning to do a simple split. Pi and a half would be the extreme 270 degrees oversplit, the dream of all contortionists :D

Ok, so this is it ^_^ And yes, surely they didn't wear speedos in Ancient Greece, basically they didn't wear anything under the chitons and gymnasts normally trained in the nude ^_^;;

The rocks and the sky here were just an attempt to incorporate some photographic textures in the work. The photos were taken two years ago in the local forest.

#Adonis #Greece #contortion
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See also

Adonis Melissopoulos H.O.T. Season 1 Prometheus v2 Prometheus Amphora Ancient Rhythmics Cry for Eternity Dionysus Riding a Leopard Kerberos Supple Beggar 1001 Nights of Training Bagheera's Dance
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