His presence - and mode of dress - drew considerable attention and a report in the Penny Illustrated Paper mentioned: "A turbaned gentleman, attired in the garb of a Turk was supposed to represent the East at the Olympian Festival, but the fancifully-dressed one turned out to be the Gym - wait a minute, I''ll spell it directly - the Gymnasiarch
of Liverpool, John Hulley, and whom no-one was more gorgeously apparelled."
For instance, that Chaereas is coming back from a gymnasium when he falls in love does not need to call forth Athenagoras' position as gymnasiarch
The third-century gymnastic law of Beroea (SEG 27.261, Side B, 13-15, 26-32) makes it clear that it was part of the gymnasiarch's job to protect boys from precisely those corrupting influences that were associated with the private palaestra.
(31) It may be that the eventual addition of publicly appointed or elected gymnasiarchs and paidotribai, of which there is some evidence in the fourth century, (32) reflected not only further democratization of athletic training, but also a desire to remove it from the realm of private patronage and pederastic influence, which was increasingly marginalized by Athenian democratic discourse as a social practice only of the elite.
One significant result of their labor is the recovery in line 55 of part of the formula of the oath taken by assistants of the gymnasiarch
. Lines 55-62 can then be restored with some confidence from the gymnasiarch
's oath in 24-34.
While presiding at the Athenian games organized to honor Ventidius's victories over the Parthians, Antony left at home his Roman paraphernalia ("his guard, his axes, and tokens of his empire") and dressed as a gymnasiarch
, or judge of the games, "in a long gown and slippers after the Grecian fashion" (217).
The Penny Illustrated Paper said: "A turbaned gentleman, attired in the garb of a Turk, was supposed to represent the East at the Olympian Festival, but the fancifully-dressed one turned out to be the Gymnasiarch
of Liverpool, John Hulley."