How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by peter yates » Mon May 25, 2020 8:31 am

Yes David,the history of any subject is a long and winding road,the best we can really hope for is an approximation. As far as modern PC and BB go there are still a few such as yourself who knew the people, who knew the people.So the stories even if embellished are more easy to trace. One thing i learned many years ago when studying Chinese history is, never belief the written word and even less the spoken one. The reason being that in many Dynasties throughout the long history of China,historians were only allowed to compile "official" history to make the Dynasty be seen in a positive light.For those inclined not to tow the line torture and a slow death were incentives.Some courageous souls did record other than what was officially expected giving us a more balanced view. One of my main teachers,Sifu Sare K. Lew, used to say "Do not believe it unless you see with your own eyes." Of course some things can be substantiated to a degree if coming from different sources. What we have today is people unwilling to do their own research and just write what has been taken as gospel from a series of previous writers.I have been guilty of that too,but now if writing on a subject will do as much research as i can to get as complete and balanced a view as i can.However we do our best and should always be ready to be corrected when new material arises.Anyway the history of PC is fascinating for me and i appreciate all those who are genuinely doing their best to keep it alive.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Jarett Hulse
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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by Jarett Hulse » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:07 pm

There are several books that discuss how MODERN physical culture developed. Exercising and even lifting weights has been around and recorded for thousands of years. Greek exercises and techniques was recorded by many writers of the times. One book i remember is Galen’s Sanitate Tuenda which has been translated and passed down from ancient times. During medieval times there isn’t a lot recorded, but exercises having to do with knighthood are often mentioned. In 1569 Mercuriale wrote De Arte Gymnastica. Which relied on and reintroduced many ancient texts on exercise. It was very popular and went through several different printings for over a 100 years. i own the 4rth printing from 1601. I believe the last printing they usually mention is 1672. Though i also own a copy from the 1700s which I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere.
Modern physical culture is really said to start with the start of a new system of schools in Germany in the 1770s. Though there are references to dumbells before this. In these new schools, run by the state, exercise and “gymnastics” were taught As part of a child’s education. The first one was run by a guy name Basedow. There were several teachers that lasted a short time. Then Guts Muths became the physical education teacher, a position he held for 50 years. He also wrote the book the original poster mentioned, Gymnastics for Youth. Originally published in 1793 as Gymansticks fur de jugend. It was translated and published in London in 1800 and in the U.S. in Philadelphia in 1802. I have both those English copies. (Though my u.s. one says 1803). Guts Muths was considered by some to be the grandfather of gymnastics. Gymnastics at the time meant exercise, including some weight lifting. Though not in the way we think of it today. Around 1810 Frederich Ludwig Jahn took Guts Muths ideas and expanded on them. He wrote a book in 1816 called German Gymnastics that was even more influential. He started the turnveins (basically outdoorr gyms)and he became known as the Turnvater and the father of gymnastics. This were hugely popular and spread all across Europe and to the U.s. Around 1825, when some of his students became teachers Of gymnastics at Round Hill and Harvard. And his book was translated into English as well in 1828. Which just last month i finally found a copy of. Spreading across Europe several influential teachers spread the ideas of exercise, sometimes with their own twists. Names such as Clias, Ling, Amorros Peros and Vignoir (something like that) come to mind. As far as real heavy weight lifting i think it was around the 1840s when Hippolyte Triat opened the first commercial gym. I recently got his autograph. Also in the etchings of his gym are what might be the first images of a Heavy barbell. In the 1850s there are reports of weightlifting going on in the gyms of New York City. I don’t really know for sure, but I believe it is around the 1890s in and around a Germany that heavy athletics, weightlifting begins to become more formalized. As for the earliest use of the term bodybuilding, I don’t know off the top of my head. Though i wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t in the late 1800s. Peter asked me a f ew weeks ago about this question and I happened across one of Jan Todd’s Igh articles that says when she first heard the term “physical culture” used in 1787 then in 1838. But it seemed to have a different meaning then. She says the term caught on and became more popular after Dio Lewis Started using it around 1860. You can read her full thoughts here, on page 5. https://www.starkcenter.org/igh/igh-v13 ... 203p01.pdf
Okay, that was a long rant to type on a iPad. Hope I didn’t bore you too much.

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by Harry Hayfield » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:46 pm

Jarett Hulse wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:07 pm
There are several books that discuss how MODERN physical culture developed. Exercising and even lifting weights has been around and recorded for thousands of years. Greek exercises and techniques was recorded by many writers of the times. One book i remember is Galen’s Sanitate Tuenda which has been translated and passed down from ancient times. During medieval times there isn’t a lot recorded, but exercises having to do with knighthood are often mentioned. In 1569 Mercuriale wrote De Arte Gymnastica. Which relied on and reintroduced many ancient texts on exercise. It was very popular and went through several different printings for over a 100 years. i own the 4rth printing from 1601. I believe the last printing they usually mention is 1672. Though i also own a copy from the 1700s which I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere.
As members know I am writring (as part of a very long term project) a series of books based on the Musketeer tales where the lead character is trying to become as big and as strong as Porthos. At the start of the second book he is bigger, taller, heavier and as strong as Porthos was when Porthos was his age (24) but he is still not as strong as Porthos is at the moment and is always looking for information about how to become stronger, therefore would it be possible to have a copy of that book please (so that he can pick up some more hints)?
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by peter yates » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:04 am

Jarett,
thanks you for the very detailed and interesting reply and taking the time to gather this information.I knew if anyone could it would be you.History is such that once you find some new information it encourages looking at what you already know with new eyes.While we may never know the full story,it is people such as yourself that allow a more expanded view.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Jarett Hulse
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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by Jarett Hulse » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:34 pm

Harry Hayfield wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:46 pm
Jarett Hulse wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:07 pm
There are several books that discuss how MODERN physical culture developed. Exercising and even lifting weights has been around and recorded for thousands of years. Greek exercises and techniques was recorded by many writers of the times. One book i remember is Galen’s Sanitate Tuenda which has been translated and passed down from ancient times. During medieval times there isn’t a lot recorded, but exercises having to do with knighthood are often mentioned. In 1569 Mercuriale wrote De Arte Gymnastica. Which relied on and reintroduced many ancient texts on exercise. It was very popular and went through several different printings for over a 100 years. i own the 4rth printing from 1601. I believe the last printing they usually mention is 1672. Though i also own a copy from the 1700s which I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere.
As members know I am writring (as part of a very long term project) a series of books based on the Musketeer tales where the lead character is trying to become as big and as strong as Porthos. At the start of the second book he is bigger, taller, heavier and as strong as Porthos was when Porthos was his age (24) but he is still not as strong as Porthos is at the moment and is always looking for information about how to become stronger, therefore would it be possible to have a copy of that book please (so that he can pick up some more hints)?
Harry which book were you interested in? What year exactly do your stories take place?

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by Harry Hayfield » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:48 pm

Jarett Hulse wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:34 pm
Harry Hayfield wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:46 pm
Jarett Hulse wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:07 pm
There are several books that discuss how MODERN physical culture developed. Exercising and even lifting weights has been around and recorded for thousands of years. Greek exercises and techniques was recorded by many writers of the times. One book i remember is Galen’s Sanitate Tuenda which has been translated and passed down from ancient times. During medieval times there isn’t a lot recorded, but exercises having to do with knighthood are often mentioned. In 1569 Mercuriale wrote De Arte Gymnastica. Which relied on and reintroduced many ancient texts on exercise. It was very popular and went through several different printings for over a 100 years. i own the 4rth printing from 1601. I believe the last printing they usually mention is 1672. Though i also own a copy from the 1700s which I’ve never seen mentioned anywhere.
As members know I am writring (as part of a very long term project) a series of books based on the Musketeer tales where the lead character is trying to become as big and as strong as Porthos. At the start of the second book he is bigger, taller, heavier and as strong as Porthos was when Porthos was his age (24) but he is still not as strong as Porthos is at the moment and is always looking for information about how to become stronger, therefore would it be possible to have a copy of that book please (so that he can pick up some more hints)?
Harry which book were you interested in? What year exactly do your stories take place?
The book I am most interested in is "De Arte Gymnastica" but any book that deals with physical culture from the 17th century is perfect. The stories take place over a very long time frame. The first book is from 1625 - 1628, the second book 1628 - 1629, the third book is 1632 - 1634, the fourth book is 1635 - 1637 and the fifth book starts off in 1639 and concludes in 2040 (thanks to a cruel trick played on the hero)
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by David Gentle » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:13 am

Jarett, thats an amazing piece of work you have done. Re the Todds, (only Jan now as Terry has gone) Dave Webster gave them or the museum one of the oldest books ever on pc. cant recal details off hand it was circa 1560, really rare, the Texas museum is the place to go, i have m ost copies of their Iron Game History which is an amazing body of research and the one i would advise anyone reasearch. David Gentle
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Jarett Hulse
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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by Jarett Hulse » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:53 am

David, the book Webster gave the Stark Center is De Arte Gymnastica. The first edition was 1569. I’m pretty sure the copy that was given to them was the second edition, which was the first illustrated edition in 1577.

Harry, if you want to reference exercise in your stories In the 17th century it has to be De Arte Gymnastica. There is only one other book I’m aware of in that time frame and it wasn’t well known. Unfortunately the book is written in Latin, and was only translated into English one time, by Blundell in 1864. I finally got a copy of that from the late great Reuben Weaver.

Lucky for us, the internet is an amazing place. And both the Latin copy and the translation are scanned and accessible for free. Here are the links

illustrated Latin version
https://archive.org/details/ARes20309v1 ... 3/mode/2up

English translation
Muscles and their Story, from the earliest times
https://archive.org/details/b21289372

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by Harry Hayfield » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:38 pm

Jarett Hulse wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:53 am
David, the book Webster gave the Stark Center is De Arte Gymnastica. The first edition was 1569. I’m pretty sure the copy that was given to them was the second edition, which was the first illustrated edition in 1577.

Harry, if you want to reference exercise in your stories In the 17th century it has to be De Arte Gymnastica. There is only one other book I’m aware of in that time frame and it wasn’t well known. Unfortunately the book is written in Latin, and was only translated into English one time, by Blundell in 1864. I finally got a copy of that from the late great Reuben Weaver.

Lucky for us, the internet is an amazing place. And both the Latin copy and the translation are scanned and accessible for free. Here are the links

illustrated Latin version
https://archive.org/details/ARes20309v1 ... 3/mode/2up

English translation
Muscles and their Story, from the earliest times
https://archive.org/details/b21289372
Thank you very much indeed Jarett, that will help me a great deal
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

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Re: How long has Physical Culture been going on for?

Post by peter yates » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:45 pm

Jarett, thank you for weighing in here with your expertise.I know that you live near Jan and have been friends with the Todds for many years.For those who do not know, Jarett is one of the top collectors of PC books and memorabilia in the USA. He particularly has a great collection of hard to get early PC books and is why i consulted him on this topic.Glad to have his reply and that Harry now has more resources for continuing his writing.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

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