Ancients


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Idioms, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
Modern history has rejected the beliefs of the ancients without replacing them by a new conception, and the logic of the situation has obliged the historians, after they had apparently rejected the divine authority of the kings and the "fate" of the ancients, to reach the same conclusion by another road, that is, to recognize (1) nations guided by individual men, and (2) the existence of a known aim to which these nations and humanity at large are tending.
In vain, I searched for some sign of ancient commerce that, if history is to be believed, must have dotted the bosom of the Channel with white sails and blackened the heavens with the smoke of countless funnels, but as far as eye could reach the tossing waters of the Channel were empty and deserted.
There were archways; temples; public squares; and images, not at all beautiful, for they seemed to be of man-monsters--doubtless ancient gods.
Unlike ancient philosophy, it has been unaffected by impressions derived from outward nature: it arose within the limits of the mind itself.
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.
Big fella shark-fish, that fella leg stop 'm along him," the ancient grinned, exposing a horrible aperture of toothlessness for a mouth.
copy of the ancient Jewish law, which is said to be the oldest document on earth.
It is a common belief that the more ancient a form is, by so much the more it tends to connect by some of its characters groups now widely separated from each other.
The place breathed the very atmosphere of decay and death, and the imbecile ancient, curing in the smoke the token of death, was himself palsiedly shaking into the disintegration of the grave.
By day, one could admire the variety of its edifices, all sculptured in stone or wood, and already presenting complete specimens of the different domestic architectures of the Middle Ages, running back from the fifteenth to the eleventh century, from the casement which had begun to dethrone the arch, to the Roman semicircle, which had been supplanted by the ogive, and which still occupies, below it, the first story of that ancient house de la Tour Roland, at the corner of the Place upon the Seine, on the side of the street with the Tannerie.
It was first communicated to the public in that curious record of ancient literature, which has been accumulated by the combined exertions of Sir Egerton Brydges.
In ancient times the power of the kings extended to everything whatsoever, both civil, domestic, and foreign; but in after-times they relinquished some of their privileges, and others the people assumed, so that, in some states, they left their kings only the right of presiding over the sacrifices; and even those whom it were worth while to call by that name had only the right of being commander-in-chief in their foreign wars.