Medal for the Council of Five Hundred, Medal (for the fifth session)
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Following the end of the National Convention in 1795, a new government (The Directory) was formed under a new constitution. The new legislature was divided into two separate bodies – the Council of Ancients (the upper house), and the Council of Five Hundred (the lower house). This Medal was created on the opening day of the legislature, and was worn by all five hundred members of the Council of Five Hundred.
The Medal was awarded in five sessions of the Council of Ancients; the first session occurred on October 28, 1795; the second session was on May 20, 1797; the third session was on May 20, 1798; the fourth session was on May 20, 1799; and finally, the fifth session was on May 21, 1800.
The Medal may have had two grades, although it is uncertain if this is accurate, or what distinction was made between them. It is more likely that versions with different compositions are merely a result of later production.
The Medals for the fifth session were never actually worn because the Council of Five Hundred was disbanded on November 9, 1799 during Napoleon’s Coup of 18 Brumaire. The production for the Medal had already begun prior to the Coup, but the only remaining examples of the Medal are clichés.
The obverse inscription translates to “Liberty, Equality, Council of Five Hundred, Year VIII” and the reverse inscription translates to “French Republic, Representative of the People.”
The Medal for the Council of Five Hundred is translated from the French "Medaille du Conseil des 500."
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