What Was the Council in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, councils were an essential part of the political system. They were the governing bodies responsible for making important decisions and passing laws. The council was comprised of a group of citizens who were elected by the people to represent their interests and make decisions on their behalf.

The Role of the Council

The council’s primary role was to advise and assist the ruling officials in making important decisions. They acted as a check on the power of the officials and ensured that they were acting in the best interests of the people. The council also had the power to propose new laws and regulations, which would then be voted on by the general assembly.

The Composition of the Council

The composition of the council varied depending on which city-state you were in. In Athens, for example, there were two main councils: the Council of Five Hundred, which was responsible for day-to-day affairs, and the Council of Areopagus, which dealt with matters related to religion and morality.

The members of these councils were chosen by lot from among citizens who met certain qualifications. For example, in Athens, only adult male citizens who had completed military training could serve on the council.


Council meetings were held regularly throughout Ancient Greece. These meetings were open to all citizens, who could attend and voice their opinions on important issues. During these meetings, members would discuss various proposals and vote on them.


The legacy of councils can still be seen today in modern democracies around the world. They continue to serve as an important check on official power and ensure that elected officials are held accountable to their constituents.


In conclusion, councils played a vital role in Ancient Greek politics. They served as an important check on official power and ensured that elected officials acted in the best interests of their constituents. The legacy of these councils can still be seen today in modern democracies around the world.