Council of Ancients

Council of Anciens
Conseil des Anciens
French First Republic

Coat of arms or logo

Emblem of the Council of Anciens
Established 2 November 1795
Disbanded 10 November 1799
Preceded by National Convention (unicameral)
Succeeded by Imperial Senate
Seats 250
Meeting place
Salle du Manège, rue de Rivoli, Paris

The Council of Ancients or Council of Elders (French: Conseil des Anciens) was the upper house of the Directory (French: Directoire), the legislature of France from 22 August 1795 until 9 November 1799, roughly the second half of the period generally referred to as the French Revolution.

The Council of Ancients was the senior of the two halves of the republican legislative system. The Ancients were 250 members who could accept or reject laws put forward by the lower house of the Directory, the Council of Five Hundred (Conseil des Cinq-Cents). Each member had to be at least forty years of age, and a third of them would be replaced annually. They had no power to draft laws, but any laws that they rejected could not be reintroduced for at least a year.

Besides functioning as a legislative body, the Council of Ancients selected the five Directors, who jointly held executive power, from a list provided by the Five Hundred.

Presidents of the Council of Ancients


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