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.
The result of these considerations seems to be that nothing rests on good evidence beyond the fact that Homer was recited by law at the Panathenaic festival.
The Greek chariot had two wheels, and was made to be drawn by two horses; if a third or, more commonly, two reserve horses were added, they were attached on each side of the main pair by a single trace fastened to the front of the chariot, as may be seen on two prize vases in the British Museum from the Panathenaic games at Athens.
On two Panathenaic prize vases in the British Museum are figures of racing bigae, in which, contrary to the description given above, the driver is seated with his feet resting on a board hanging down in front close to the legs of his horses.
Many specimens of these Panathenaic vases have been found; on one side is the figure of Athena, on the other a design showing the nature of the competition in which they were given as prizes.