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What is the meaning of Palaestra? Concept, Definition of Palaestra

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Definitions and concepts of Palaestra

Definition of Palaestra

The palaestra (in Greek palæstra) was the school of struggle in ancient Greece. Events that did not require much space, such as the fight and boxing were practiced there. The palaestra functioned independently or as a part of public gymnasia. A palaestra could exist without belonging to a gym, but no gymnasium could exist without a palaestra.
The palestra was a prominent feature of Greek society, the meaning of the athletic competition - and, by extension, of the physical beauty – translated to the importance of the building itself. The status of the particular event, the fight, made at the palestra was added to the importance of the building. The fight was one of the oldest and most widely diffused sports of the Greek world.
With the passage of time, the role of the lectures as educational and social area was also increasing. Although the lectures continued operating as fighting schools, they also hosted conferences and intellectual and philosophical discussions, and this educational role gradually assumed control of the function of the building. The floors and walls of the palaestra were adorned with famous athletes, gods and heroes, such as Apollo, Hercules or Heracles, Hermes. Eros was also included, to honor the "most ancient God" and who ruled over friendships and love affairs between men, something very fostered in the environment of the palaestra. The music was often part of the trainings and competitions.
The architecture of the palaestra, although allowing slight variations, followed a standard plan. The palaestra essentially consisted of a rectangular building built around an arcaded courtyard with adjacent rooms. These rooms could accommodate a variety of functions: bathrooms, games of ball, wardrobe and storage of clothes, seating for socializing, observation, or instruction, and storage of oil, dust or athletic equipment. Vitruvius, with his book of architecture, is an important source of ancient on this type of buildings and provides many details about what he calls palaistra, Greek-style. Although the specifications of their descriptions do not always match the architectural evidence, probably this is because I was writing around the year 27 BC, his account provides insight into the general design and uses of this type of space. As Vitruvius describes, the palaestra was square or rectangular in shape with columns along its four sides creating porticoes. The portico on the north side of the palaestra had double depth to better protect against the weather. The spacious halls (exedrae) were built along the sides of simple depth of the palaestra with seats for those who enjoyed intellectual searches, and the double depth side was divided into an area for the activities of young people (ephebeum), an area for the sack of scrimmage (coryceum), a room for applying powders (conisterium)a fourth for the cold baths, and a warehouse for oil (elaeothesium).
Good examples of this type of building are two of the most important Greek sites: Olympia and Delphi.
As part of the Greek education it will be exported to all areas of cultural influence, which are often in Asia minor and the Middle East. Part of the Greek conception of made man, concept later recovered by the Romans and synthesized by Juvenal in his mens sana in corpore sano (healthy mind in healthy body). In Roman architecture, were often present to the hot springs. Remains of the palestra in the baths of Caracalla can still see.


Arena concept

The fore word comes from the latin palaestra, which borrowed it from Greek (palaistra), which is derived from (paiaein - fight). So it was proper "place to fight" and in origin were schools of fighting. But properly and in classical times, especially among the Romans, a palaestra was a gym where people could practice fighting or to perform different physical exercises. The most common form of a palaestra was an Esplanade rectangular or square to open sky surrounded on all four sides of a portico with columns for rest in the shade, fitted with benches or seats. Around this units had various or rooms for wardrobe, storage or any room for bathrooms. All Greek and Roman cities used to have lectures.
The fact that leaving to the Esplanade to compete or show off skills gymnastic, with time the word fore has acquired the sense of real or figurative public space where one goes to prove what they can do or must display, in the sense of sports, literary, scientific or of any nature.


Definition of Palaestra

A Greek word which can be translated as "struggle" was transformed into the latin, enpalaestra. To our language, the concept arrived as palaestra and is used to name the site where, in ancient times, struggles were developed.
The palaestra, therefore, was the space where taught to fight and fighting were performed. He could join a gym or operate independently, according to the case.
Over time, the lectures increased their benefits and, besides struggles, began to host other activities. Filosofiay art debates became frequent, like lectures and music.
By extension, he began to use the notion of arena as a synonym for public discussion. In this way, the expressions were popularized "exit to the fore", "being in the fray" and "jump to the fore".
For example: "the mistress of the Minister grew tired of ostracism and came to the fore" is a phrase which indicates that a woman who maintains a clandestine relationship with a Minister, decided to report publicly that link.
"The singer is in the fore since he confessed his addiction to drugs", on the other hand, it is an expression which mentions the permanent presence of an artist in public opinion from his confession about problems with narcotics.
"The young Uruguayan tennis player jumped to the fore two years ago when he defeated the number one in the world", finally, is a phrase that says the popularity that won an athlete from Uruguay after a resounding victory.

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