In Classical Athens gymnasiarchs were appointed annually from the ten tribes (phylai) to organize torch‐races; the post was a burdensome liturgy. The gymnasiarch of the Hellenistic and Roman polis was general supervisor of the civic gymnasium (or gymnasia), responsible for its administration and the moral supervision (e.g. the policing of homosexuality) of its youthful users (see epheboi), for whom he was a fearsome authority‐figure empowered to fine and flog. The heavy costs of physical training, mainly oil (see olive) for athletics and fuel for hot baths, made the office a target for the euergetism of rich citizens.
Subjects: Classical Studies.