Gymnasiums in the Roman-Graeco world were impressive, with hot baths, statues, and a small arena for games and stone seats for spectators. It was not a Greek community without one. They would go for exercise, a hot bath and some cool drinks with friends who enjoyed watching the younger men prepare for the regional games that were held in larger cities. There was running and wrestling and other sports just as you could imagine in this setting. There were coaches for the boys and events taking place for amusement

The world had the Greeks with their naked athletes who thought of the finely trained body as a temple; and the Jews, to whom the grandeur of Greece was an unopened book and the naked body an insult to JHWH. Few Jews bothered with the gymnasium or its pagan rites. In the afternoon the gymnasium was thrown open, and the stone seats of the exhibition hall quickly filled with townspeople. There were the fine edifices and the gymnasium built for the "base-born," that is, for non-citizens.
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