Meaning of the ancients in English:

the ancients


  • 1The people of ancient times, especially the Greeks and Romans of classical antiquity.

    ‘In fact, some artists and designers in eighteenth-century Rome not only imitated the ancients but actually incorporated antique elements into their own works.’
    • ‘In the pre-millennial run-up, this popular fascination with the ancients was mixed into a New Age stew of half-understood ideas about the origins of religious belief.’
    • ‘The flower was also a popular aphrodisiac among the ancients (who were then, of course, all ages, both young and old!).’
    • ‘But the popular notion that the ancients did not regard slavery as morally problematic is unpersuasive.’
    • ‘The ancients did not expect their old men to run themselves into the ground, they wanted them to contemplate life and come up with words of wisdom that might benefit the rest of society.’
    • ‘The earth was no longer the nurturing mother of the ancients.’
    1. 1.1The classical Greek and Roman authors.
      ‘a thorough knowledge of the ancients is a prerequisite of criticism’
      • ‘But none of this means that Adam and Eve are subjects or citizens existing within what either the ancients or Milton would have thought of as a political society.’
      • ‘As Jean Seznec established, medieval writers considered themselves the cultural heirs of the ancients.’
      • ‘The ancients - Hesiod, Homer, Virgil - struggled with it on their own cosmic terms.’
      • ‘Also rests are allowed for in the verse of the ancients and, though not professedly, in ours (there are instances collected from Shakespeare) like the rests in music.’
      • ‘And we're climbing on board the odyssey today with two medical historians who have dug deep into the texts of the ancients to explore ideas from antiquity about the psyche.’