Nowadays, a gym is a place for fitness and exercise. It’s a shortening of the word gymnasium, which derives from the Greek word gymnasion. In the Ancient Greek world, a gymnasion was not only a place for exercise, but also a hub for philosophical study and learning. Today’s episode explores the evolution of the gymnasium as a cultural institution and also looks at how some of the word’s cognates in other languages differ in meaning.
In the court system of Ancient Athens, the kategoria was a formal accusation. However, when the philosopher Aristotle borrowed the word kategoria to enumerate his ‘categories of being,’ he intended it to mean the ‘highest order of classification.’ Over the course of this episode, we explore the subtle link between an ‘accusation’ and ‘categorization.’
The Modern English word ‘apology’ derives from the Ancient Greek word apologia. However, in the Ancient Greek work known as Plato's Apology, Plato doesn't ‘apologize’ for anything––at least not in the modern sense. That's because an ‘apology’ was originally a self-defensive manner of speech. In this episode, we look at how this rhetorical technique developed into an expression of sincere regret.