Witenagemot

The Witenaġemot (/ˌwɪtənəɡəˈmt/; Old English: witena ġemōt [ˈwitenɑ jeˈmoːt]; "meeting of wise men"), also known as the Witan (more properly the title of its members), was a political institution in Anglo-Saxon England which operated from before the 7th century until the 11th century. The Witenagemot was an assembly of the ruling class whose primary function was to advise the king and whose membership was composed of the most important noblemen in England, both ecclesiastic and secular. The institution is thought to represent an aristocratic development of the ancient Germanic general assemblies, or folkmoots. In England, by the 7th century, these ancient folkmoots had developed into convocations of the land's most powerful and important people, including ealdormen, thegns, and senior clergy, to discuss matters of both national and local significance.

Anglo-Saxon king with his witan. Biblical scene in the Illustrated Old English Hexateuch (11th century), portraying Pharaoh in court session, after passing judgment on his chief baker and chief cupbearer.