Sanhedrim

The Jewish Sanhedrim probably took its form from the seventy elders appointed to assist Moses in the government. After the captivity it seems to have been a permanent consistory court. The president was called “Ha Nasi” (the prince), and the vice-president “Abba” (father). The seventy sat in a semicircle, thirty-five on each side of the president; the “father” being on his right hand, and the “hacan,” or sub-deputy, on his left. All questions of the “Law” were dogmatically settled by the Sanhedrim, and those who refused obedience were excommunicated. (Greek, sunedrion, a sitting together.)

Sanhedrim,
in Dryden's satire of Absalom and Achitophel, stands for the British Parliament.

The Sanhedrim long time as chief he ruled,
Their reason guided, and their passion cooled.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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