Drawings from the Stone Age were found in "the cave of swimmers" near Wadi Sora (or Sura) in the southwestern part of Egypt. C., including Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible (Ezekiel 47:5, Acts , Isaiah ), Beowulf, and other sagas.
In 1538 Nicolas Wynman, German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book, "Colymbetes".
Competitive swimming in Europe started around 1800, mostly using breaststroke.
The front crawl, then called the trudgen, was introduced in 1873 by John Arthur Trudgen, copying it from Native Americans. including Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible (Ezekiel 47:5, Acts , Isaiah ), Beowulf, and other sagas, although the style is never described.
These pictures seem to show breaststroke or dog paddle, although it may also be possible that the movements have a ritual meaning unrelated to swimming. The most famous drawings were found in the Kebir desert and are estimated to be from around 4000 B. The Nagoda bas-relief also shows swimmers dating back from 3000 B. Swimming competitions are also known from that time.
This cave is also featured in the movie The English Patient. Middle Ages to 1800 Swimming was initially one of the seven agilities of knights during the Middle Ages, including swimming with armour.
However, as swimming was done in a state of undress, it became less popular as society became more conservative, and it was opposed by the church at the end of the middle ages.
For example, in the 16th century, a German court document in the Vechta prohibited the naked public swimming of children.
Leonardo da Vinci made early sketches of lifebelts.