added by archaeologs An area in ancient Greek used as a sports ground. It could be within or outside the city and normally had a palaestra, running track, dressing rooms, bathrooms, and other rooms for exercise and ball games. It was for men only, except at Sparta, and was also a center of education (philosophy, literature, and music). The Academy of Plato and the Lyceum of Aristotle were both gymnasia. The combination of health for the body and education for the mind might represented an ideal to the Greeks. The literal meaning of the word 'gymnasion' was "school for naked exercise" and every important city had one.