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Bill Thayer

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p32 Agonothetae

Unsigned article on p32 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

AGONOTHETAE (ἀγωνοθέται), were persons, in the Grecian games, who decided disputes and adjudged the prizes to the victors. Originally, the person who instituted the contest and offered the prize was the agonothetes, and this continued to be the practice in those games which were instituted by kings or private persons. But in the great public games, such as the Isthmian, Pythian, &c., the agonothetae were either the representatives of different states, as the Amphictyons at the Pythian games, or were chosen from the people in whose country the games were celebrated. During the flourishing times of the Grecian republics, the Eleians were the agonothetae in the Olympic games, the Corinthians in the Isthmian games, the Amphictyons in the Pythian games, and the Corinthians, Argives, and inhabitants of Cleonae in the Nemaean games. The ἀγωνοθέται were also called αἰσυμνῆται, ἀγωνάρχαι, ἀγωνοδίκαι, ἀθλοθέται, ῥαβδοῦχοι or ῥαβδονόμοι (from the staff they carried as an emblem of authority), βραβεῖς, βραβευταί.

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Page updated: 1 Jan 07