1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Agonothetes

AGONOTHETES, in ancient Greece, the president or superintendent of the sacred games. At first the person who instituted the games and defrayed the expenses was the Agonothetes; but in the great public games, such as the Olympic and Pythian, these presidents were the representatives of different states, or were chosen from the people in whose country the games were celebrated; thus at the Panathenaic festival at Athens ten athlothetae were elected for four years to superintend the various contests. They were variously called αίσυμνἣται, βραβενταί, ἀγωνάρχαι, ἀγωνοὁίκαι, ἀθλοθέται (at Athens), ραβὁοûχοι or ραβὁονόμοι (from the rod or sceptre emblematic of their authority), but their functions were generally the same.