GYMNASIUM


GYMNASIUM
GYMNASIUM, ancient Greek institution devoted to physical education and development of the body (γυμνός, "naked"). Although originally established for functions of a purely athletic and competitive nature, the gymnasium eventually became dedicated to the furthering of intellectual, as well as physical, aspects of Greek culture. During the Hellenistic period attendance at the gymnasium was recognized as the standard educational prerequisite for Greek youths wishing to attain citizenship in the polis. Thus, with the establishment of a Hellenistic administration in Jerusalem during the reign of antiochus iv Epiphanes, the high priest jason was given permission "to set up a gymnasium and ephebeum" (II Macc. 4:9). This act was abhorred by the vast majority of Palestinian Jews, who rightly considered the gymnasium a symbol of the Greek heathen culture chosen to supplant ancient Jewish law in Jerusalem (cf. I Macc. 1:13–15). The author of II Maccabees stresses that the gymnasium was erected adjacent to the Temple, and describes the priests abandoning their service at the altar "to participate in the unlawful exercises of the palaestra as soon as the summons came for the discus throwing" (I Macc. 4:14). Opposition to participation in the gymnasium was not as vehement among the Jews of Ptolemaic Egypt, and it may be assumed that the upper classes of Alexandrian Jewry were interested in obtaining this training for their youth. This interest was enhanced with the Roman conquest of Egypt, for Roman policy identified the graduates of the gymnasium as legitimate Greek "citizens," and only these might serve as the basis for local administration. It is therefore understandable   that the Greek population of Alexandria was violently opposed to the enrollment of "non-Greeks" (i.e., Egyptians and Jews) among the epheboi (cf. the "Boule Papyrus," Tcherikover, Corpus 2 (1960), 25–29 no. 150). The Greek demands were eventually supported by the emperor Claudius (41 C.E.), who decreed, according to another papyrus (ibid., no. 153), that the Jews "are not to intrude themselves into the games presided over by the gymnasiarchs." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Bickerman, From Ezra to the Last of the Maccabees (1962), 104ff.; A.H.M. Jones, The Greek City (1940), 220ff.; Tcherikover, Corpus, 1 (1957), 38ff., 73, 76; idem, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (1959). (Isaiah Gafni)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Gymnasium — Gymnasium …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • Gymnasium — (griech.), bei den alten Griechen der Ort (gymnásion), an dem die gymnastischen Übungen stattfanden (s. Gymnastik): Turnplatz und Turnhalle; heute: höhere Lehranstalt, in der die alten klassischen Sprachen gelehrt und Schüler für die Universität… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gymnasium — Sn Oberschule std. (15. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus gr. gymnásion Übungs und Ausbildungsstätte , einer Ableitung von gr. gymnázesthai (sich mit bloßem Körper) sportlich betätigen , zu gr. gymnós nackt . In den Gymnasien lehrten auch Philosophen …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Gymnasium — may refer to:*Gymnasium (ancient Greece), an educational and sporting institution in ancient Greece *Gymnasium (school), a school of secondary education found in several European countries that prepares students for higher education *Gym, a place …   Wikipedia

  • Gymnasium — (zur Hochschulreife führende höhere Schule): Das Gymnasium in seiner heutigen Form ist aus der alten Lateinschule hervorgegangen und verdankt seinen klassischen Namen den Humanisten des 15./16. Jh.s. Als Vorbild für die Benennung galt ihnen die… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • gymnasium — 1590s, place of exercise, from L. gymnasium school for gymnastics, from Gk. gymnasion public place where athletic exercises are practiced; gymnastics school, in plural, bodily exercises, from gymnazein to exercise or train, literally or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Gymnasium — Gym*na si*um (j[i^]m*n[=a] z[i^]*[u^]m or j[i^]m*n[=a] zh[i^]*[u^]m; 277) n.; pl. E. {Gymnasiums} (j[i^]m*n[=a] z[i^]*[u^]mz), L. {Gymnasia} (j[i^]m*n[=a] z[i^]*[.a]). [L., fr. Gr. gymna sion, fr. gymna zein to exercise (naked), fr. gymo s… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gymnasium — (v. gr.), 1) in den griechischen Städten öffentliches Gebäude, worin die männliche Jugend sich durch allerhand Übungen die Kräfte u. Gewandheit des Körpers ausbildete. Weise singen später an, in den Gymnasien auch die Jünglinge zu unterrichten, u …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Gymnasium — Gymnasĭum, bei den alten Griechen Bezeichnung für öffentliche Anlagen, in denen Jünglinge und Männer nackt (gymnos) unter Leitung der vom Staate bestellten Gymnasten und Gymnasiarchen ihren Körper ausbildeten, und die allmählich auch zum… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gymnasium — (vom griech. gymnos, nackt), Orte im alten Griechenland, Gebäude und Gärten, wo die Jugend und Erwachsene den körperl. Uebungen oblagen, später auch die Philosophen lehrten und disputirten. In neueren Zeiten nennt man G. solche wissenschaftliche… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon