Gerousia


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gerousia

 

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

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This seems to have been a consultative body, like the early Roman Senate, but an influential one, and this body reminds one of the term gerousia, a Greek term for a senate-like body.
In Sparta the popular assembly had little power and power rested with the two kings, the council of elders or Gerousia, and the Ephorate.
Though it may have different names such as sunhedrion, gerousia, boule, bouletorion, it exerted power and was recognized even by their oppressors.
For example, the Gerousia Decree is significant because it contains the first substantial evidence for the celebration of the mysteries.
Judea was administered by a council of elders (gerousia, later called the Sanhedrin), which was headed by the high priest, leader of the Temple-based priesthood (Antiquities 12.3.3).
The government of Lycurgan Sparta is comprised of three 'branches': kingship, gerousia, and assembly.
Esta tradicion se documenta tambien en los banquetes publicos con vino de la Grecia homerica, en los que participaban los ancianos o aristoi, seguramente los cabezas de familias gentilicias, que formaban la ke-ro-si-ja o gerousia (II.