The most celebrated festival of the citygoddess was the Panathenaea at Athens and other places.
(8) The Panathenaea, at which the new robes for the image of the goddess were carried through the city, spread like a sail on a mast.
PANATHENAEA, the oldest and most important of the Athenian festivals.
It is said that when Theseus united the whole land under one government he made the festival of the city-goddess common to the entire country, and changed the older name Athenaea to Panathenaea (Plutarch, Theseus, 24).
It is probable that the distinction of Greater and Lesser Panathenaea dates from this period, the latter being .a shorter and simpler festival held every year.
Every fourth year the festival was celebrated with peculiar magnificence; gymnastic sports were added to the horse races; and there is little doubt that Peisistratus aimed at making the penteteric Panathenaea the great Ionian festival in rivalry to the Dorian Olympia.
The proceedings were under the superintendence of ten athlothetae, one from each tribe, the lesser Panathenaea being managed by hieropoei.
Theseus now carried out a political revolution in Attica by abolishing the semi-independent powers of the separate townships and concentrating those powers at Athens, and he instituted the festival of the Panathenaea,3 as a symbol of the unity of the Attic race.
3 Besides the Panathenaea Theseus is said to have instituted the festival of the Synoikia or Metoikia.
Again, the Platonic dialogue Hip parchus (which though not genuine is probably earlier than the Alexandrian times) asserts that Hipparchus, son of Peisistratus, first brought the poems to Athens, and obliged the rhapsodists at the Panathenaea to follow the order of the text, " as they still do," instead of reciting portions chosen at will.
Here he established the worst, of Athena, instituted the Panathenaea, and built an Erechtheum.
The orators Lycurgus and Isocrates make a great deal of the recitation of Homer at the Panathenaea, but know nothing of the poems having been collected and arranged at Athens, a fact which would have redounded still more to the honour of the city.