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in ancient Greece, a council of elders in city-states, usually composed of aristocrats. The gerousia examined important state affairs, which were subsequently subject to discussion at a citizens’ assembly. The number of members (elders) and the political role of the gerousia were not the same in various poleis. The best-known gerousia was in Sparta and was composed of 30 members—28 elders, who were over 60 years old and were elected for life, and two kings. The gerousia was the highest government agency and the backbone of the oligarchy.
S. S. SOLOV’EVA