The Ancients are one of the four great races of the Myriad Shadowrealms, the Earthlords being their precursors, then the Archons and the Elders coming afterwards, Humani being the race that currently populates the earth. The Ancients' most famous accomplishments were the grand city-colleges they constructed. Though the Ancients mysteriously disappeared during the De Danann Empire's rule of Danu Talis, their knowledge was kept secure within the Great Library of Danu Talis, who's collection of lore was so vast it would take a lifetime to read all of the works of literature on a single shelf.
Thousands of years after the Great Fall, Dr. John Dee convinced his associate Virginia Dare to aid him in his rampage against the Elders. While Dare was promised dominion over all Shadowrealms, Dee in turn would be granted the Great Library, which held the knowledge of all the Great Races, including the Ancients. It has been hinted by Gilgamesh the King that the Ancients were in fact immortals from an incredibly distant era.
In Chapter 36 of The Necromancer, Prometheus mentions that the Ancients resembled the Elders "to some degree".
- In Chapter 9 of The Magician, the term "Ancient" is used by Nicholas Flamel to refer to one of the three basic types of Immortal humans. He describes them as hailing "from earth's very distant past. Some had witnessed the entire span of human history, and it had made them more, and less, than human." This most likely refers to individuals such as Gilgamesh and Tsagaglalal, whom are among the First People, and not the race.
- Though they are mentioned throughout the series, Ancients are the only ones of the Four Great Races to not appear within the series.
- In The Warlock, when Aten inquires about Marethyu's nature, he states "“You’re neither Elder nor Ancient, and you’re definitely not Archon or Earthlord", implying that Elders and Ancients share a closer lineage or resemblance than the other two.