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A kynodesme (Greek: κυνοδέσμη, English translation: "dog leash"), was a thin leather strip worn by athletes in Ancient Greece to restrain the penis such as to prevent the exposure of the glans. It was tied tightly around the akroposthion, the part of the foreskin that extended beyond the glans. The kynodesme could then either be attached to a waist band to expose the scrotum, or tied to the base of the penis so that the penis appeared to curl upwards. Not all Greek athletes wore the kynodesme.
It is first alluded to in literature in the 5th century BC, in the partially preserved satyr play Theoroi by Aeschylus. There is also evidence from the illustration of athletes on Ancient Greek pottery.
- Frederick M. Hodges The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme, The Bulletin Of The History Of Medicine, Volume 75: Pages 375–405, Fall 2001.
- Osbourne, Robin (2004). Greek History. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415317177. page 10Template:Ancient-Greece-stub