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ANCIENTS, English law. A term for gentlemen in the Inns of Courts who are of a certain standing. In the Middle Temple, all who have passed their readings are termed ancients. In Gray's Inn, the ancients are the oldest barristers; besides which the society consists of benchers, barristers and students. In the Inas of Chancery, it consists of ancients, and students or clerks.

References in classic literature ?
I do not know where to find in any literature, ancient or modern, any account which contents me of that Nature with which even I am acquainted.
There is a museum of antiquities in the Castle, and among its most treasured relics are ancient manuscripts connected with German history.
That which is no longer dangerous for a modern vessel, well rigged, strongly built, and master of its own course, thanks to obedient steam, offered all sorts of perils to the ships of the ancients.
Carriages rattle, doors are battered at, the world exchanges calls; ancient charmers with skeleton throats and peachy cheeks that have a rather ghastly bloom upon them seen by daylight, when indeed these fascinating creatures look like Death and the Lady fused together, dazzle the eyes of men.
Did not her mighty messenger, the ancient Iss, bear you upon her leaden bosom at your own behest to the Valley Dor?
The ancient British bards had for the title of their order, "Those Who are free throughout the world.
The ancients gave it the name of an ocean, and were not far from believing that it flowed directly from the sun; but we must come down from these flights from time to time, and accept what science teaches us.
There is a well known, so-called sophism of the ancients consisting in this, that Achilles could never catch up with a tortoise he was following, in spite of the fact that he traveled ten times as fast as the tortoise.
Hume's paradox has been forgotten by the world, and did not any more than the scepticism of the ancients require to be seriously refuted.
There's a part of the United States of North America that used to be known to the ancients as New England," he replied.
Homer has never yet been printed in English, nor AEschylus, nor Virgil even -- works as refined, as solidly done, and as beautiful almost as the morning itself; for later writers, say what we will of their genius, have rarely, if ever, equalled the elaborate beauty and finish and the lifelong and heroic literary labors of the ancients.
Tom, if I could show you the translations I have made of the ancient documents, referring to this idol and the wonderful city over which it kept guard, I'm sure you'd come with us.