History of swimming

Swimming has been recorded since prehistoric times; the earliest recording of swimming dates back to Stone Age paintings from around 7,000 years ago. Written references date from 2000 BCE. Some of the earliest references to swimming include the Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible, Beowulf, and other sagas. In 1578, Nikolaus Wynmann, a German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book, The Swimmer or A Dialogue on the Art of Swimming (Der Schwimmer oder ein Zwiegesprach uber die Schwimmkunst). Competitive swimming in Europe started around 1800, mostly using breaststroke. In 1873, John Arthur Trudgen introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native Americans. Due to a British dislike of splashing, Trudgen employed a scissor kick instead of the front crawl's flutter kick. Swimming was part of the first modern Olympic games in 1896 in Athens. In 1902 Richmond Cavill introduced the front crawl to the Western world. In 1908, the world swimming association, Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), was formed. Butterfly was developed in the 1930s and was at first a variant of breaststroke, until it was accepted as a separate style in 1952. Ancient times Cave men from the Stone Age were found in the "Cave of Swimmers" near Wadi Sora on the Gilf Kebir plateau in southwestern Egypt, near the Libyan border. These pictures seem to show breaststroke or dog paddle, although it is also possible that the movements have a ritual meaning unrelated to swimming. This cave is also featured in the movie The English Patient. An Egyptian clay seal dated between 9000 BCE and 4000 BCE shows four swimmers who are believed to be swimming a variant of the front crawl. More references to swimming are found in the Babylonian bas-reliefs and Assyrian wall drawings, depicting a variant of the breaststroke. The most famous drawings were found in the Kebir desert and are estimated to be from around 4000 BCE. The Nagoda bas-relief also shows swimmers inside of men dating back from 3000 BCE The Indian palace Mohenjo Daro from 2800 BCE contains a swimming pool sized 30 m by 60 m. The Minoan palace of Knossos in Crete also featured baths. An Egyptian tomb from 2000 BCE shows a variant of the front crawl. Depictions of swimmers have also been found from the Hittites, Minoans, and other Middle Eastern civilizations, in the Tepantitla compound at Teotihuacan, and in mosaics in Pompeii. Written references date back to ancient times, with the earliest as early as 2000 BC. Such references occur in works like Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible (Ezekiel 47:5, Acts 27:42, Isaiah 25:11), Beowulf, and other sagas, although the style is never described. There are also many mentions of swimmers in the Vatican, Borgian and Bourbon codices. A series of reliefs from 850 BC in the Nimrud Gallery of the British Museum show swimmers, mostly in military context, often using swimming aids. The Germanic folklore describes swimming, which was used successfully in wars against the Romans. [edit]Middle Ages

to 1800 As one swam in a state of undress, it became less popular as society became more prudish in the early Modern period. For example, in the 16th century, a German court document in the Vechta prohibited naked public swimming by children. Leonardo da Vinci made early sketches of lifebelts. In 1539, Nicolas Wynman, a German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book Colymbetes. His purpose was to reduce the dangers of drowning. The book contained a good methodical approach to learning breaststroke, and mentioned swimming aids such as air filled cow bladders, reed bundles, and cork belts. In 1587, Everard Digby also wrote a swimming book, claiming that humans could swim better than fish. Digby was a Senior Fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge, interested in scientific method. His short treatise, De arte natandi, was written in Latin and contained over 40 woodcut illustrations depicting various methods of swimming, including the breaststroke, backstroke and crawl. Digby regarded the breaststroke as the most useful form of swimming.[1] In 1603, the first national swimming organization was established in Japan. Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan declared that schoolchildren should swim.[citation needed] In 1696, the French author Melchisedech Thevenot (1620 or 1621 to 1692) wrote The Art of Swimming, describing a breaststroke very similar to the modern breaststroke. This book was translated into English and became the standard reference of swimming for many years to come; it was read by Benjamin Franklin. In 1708, the first known lifesaving group, "Chinkiang Association for the Saving of Life," was established in China. Benjamin Franklin is credited with the invention of swimming fins at the age of ten, in 1716. In 1739, Guts Muts (also spelled as Guts Muth) from Schnepfenthal, Germany, wrote Gymnastik fur die Jugend (Exercise for youth), including a significant portion about swimming. In 1794, Kanonikus Oronzio de Bernardi of Italy wrote a two volume book about swimming, including floating practice as a prerequisite for swimming studies. In 1798, Guts Muts wrote another book Kleines Lehrbuch der Schwimmkunst zum Selbstunterricht (Small study book of the art of swimming for self-study), recommending the use of a "fishing rod" device to aid in the learning of swimming. His books describe a three step approach to learning to swim that is still used today. First, get the student used to the water; second, practice the swimming movements out of the water; and third, practice the swimming movements in the water. He believed that swimming is an essential part of every education. More lifesaving groups were established in 1767 (1768?) in Amsterdam, 1772 in Copenhagen, and in 1774 in Great Britain. In 1768, a humane society was established in the United States. In 1796, a (still existing) swimming club, the Upsala Simsallskap, was founded in Uppsala, Sweden. The Haloren, a group of salt makers in Halle, Germany, greatly advanced swimming through setting a good example to others by teaching their children to swim at a very early age.