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Rachel Nelson

Humanism, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.’ Simplified, Humanism is when the focus is on purely the human existence. With this definition in mind, I think Greek culture, and especially their art and stories exemplify this. Even the ancient Greek’s depictions of their gods were in human form, such as the statue of Apollo from Delphi. The Greeks didn’t just focus on the human existence though, but also on the human form. Nudity and sexuality were portrayed in their art quite a bit, crazy sexual twists in their lore, and the possible roots of homosexuality buried in their history. The Kritios Boy is an example of how Greek art not only sought to portray the human form, but depict it in a more natural, ideal condition; with contrapposto stance. Polyclitus, and artist in the high classical period, was bend on idolizing the human body by emphasizing what he considered beautiful and overshadowing human flaws. I think the Greeks were not just in love with the human existence and human intelligence, but also with the human body itself; trying to perfect both its physical existence and its artistic preservation.