Historical aspects of kinanthropometry: from ancient times to contemporaneous

Glaycon Michels


As humans evolved, similarities and differences began to appear, resulting from genetic inheritance and infl uenced by the environment in which each individual develops. This results in a variety of shapes, sizes, proportions, composition, function etc. Anthropometry has its origins in medicine or biology and the fi ne arts. The Old Testament, the Babylonian Talmud, the Midrashim and treatises from the civilization of India all refer to the shape, proportions and stature of the human form. Scholars such as Empedocles, Socrates and Hipocrates concerned themselves with these relationships and created a variety of classifi cations of an ideal mode for man. Polyklitus, a Greek sculptor, represented the ideal male form by means of superimposition of anatomical parts of twenty individuals. Archimedes’ theory of the fl otation phenomenon made it possible for body composition to be calculated from densitometry today. Others, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Leone Alberti concerned themselves with establishing a type for ideal beauty. Vesalius began to discuss and dispute the theiories of Galeno. During this period anthropometry emerges as a new scientifi c specialty. Borelli explains muscular work in terms of physics. His work is valid for describing the structural bases of kineanthropometry. Elshaltz was the fi rst to use the term anthropometry in its modern sense.


História; Antropometria; Somatotipo; History; Anthopometry; Somatotype

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/%25x

The abbreviated title of the journal is Rev. Bras. Cineantropom. Desempenho Hum, which should be used in bibliographies, footnotes and bibliographical references. E-ISSN 1980-0037, impressa ISSN 1415-8426, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.