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The-Gymnasium

The Gymnasium

As in Athens, the children and youths of Priene spent most of their time in open places like the Gymnasium and the Stadium, where they did their lessons and physical training and also had their amusements. There were two gymnasiums in Priene. The older of them was above the Ecclesiasterium. The other relatively newer, is situated by the southern wall of the city.
The most important part of the gymnasium was the «Ephebeion», the part belonging to the youths. This was a large restangular hall with a door with two Ionic columns, opening onto the gymnasium itself. This hall was decorated with Corinthian columns and arches, and had along the base of the wall seven foundation stones which served as benches. The names of hundreds of youths were inscribed on the walls and columns. To the right and left of the hall were various halls supplementary to the gymnasium… Among these were the Corybeion, reserved for exercise with big leather balls; the Conisterion, where the body was rubbed with fine sand before being exposed to the sun, and the Elaiothesion, where it was rubbed with olive oil for the same purpose. Apart from these, there were baths for the athletes in a hall (Lutron) decorated with the heads of lions, from whose mouths water spurted into basins. There are also two marble troughs sunk into the ground for washing feet.

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