Disputatio:Collegium (ius)

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Is societas mercantilis the best term for comercial corporation/company? --Rafaelgarcia 00:56, 7 Iunii 2007 (UTC)

fixed the page and added entries for various types of company/corporations based on Traupman's dictionary and book on conversational latin which I recently got.--Rafaelgarcia 03:19, 10 Iunii 2007 (UTC)
Great book...--Ioshus (disp) 04:05, 10 Iunii 2007 (UTC)
Lexicon Latinitatis recentis has "societas effectoria" and "societas bonis gignendis". The problem with "societates mercatoriae" is that these are trade companies, but what about industrial corporations? Daimler and Boeing are not societates mercatoriae (or only in a very wide sense), but Walmart, Hapag Lloyd, and so on, are. --Alex1011 22:31, 10 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is that societas mercatoria are all companies that buy and sell, ie. for-profit companies, i.e. commercial companies, as opposed to non-profit companies, military, government and professional societies. Daimler-chrysler is in the business of selling things, cars, for profit, no? Societas boni gignendi and societas fabricans (manufacturing company), etc. are all specific for-profit activities that are subsumed by societas mercatoria. Societas effectoria (executive company) is a little strange to me, because it can be both military, police related (executions?), or plain administrative. I don't see them as buying or selling anything for profit (necessarily).--Rafaelgarcia 01:06, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I would have translated "trading company" (that specifically does trading in the narrow sense) as "societas tradendi" and a retail company such as Walmart as "societas propolaris"--Rafaelgarcia 01:47, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Don't we also need a still higher-order Latin concept for enterprise, Unternehmen, etc? There are also private enterprises that aren't societates. --Neander 01:24, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Based on the english meaning of the word enterprise, I would choose "coeptum" (or "inceptum"?) for "enterprise" and "commercial enterprise" as "coeptum mercatorium".--Rafaelgarcia 01:50, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
S.v. company, Cassell's defines societas as 'a trading association', and adds that 'any kind of association' is a coetus and a grex. IacobusAmor 03:43, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Egger's "lexicon Latinitatis recentis" has for enterprise, Unternehmung "societas/ domus effectoria" or "societas/domus bonis gignendis". "Mercatoria" is in my opinion too much "trading", although in a way all enterprises are also trading in the sense that they all buy and sell goods. But in comparison with modern descriptions we need "production companies" "societates bonis gignendis" or "effectoriae", and the trading companies in a narrower sense. We also need a word for "services", the third sector of the economy. I found already "societas agraria" in a source for "agricultural business", the first sector of the economy. --Alex1011 07:33, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
My interest is more or less on the level of the homo oeconomicus (perhaps out of place in this discussion), and therefore I feel the need of defining a Latin term for 'enterprise' and 'entrepreneur'. Therefore I kind of like Rafael's inceptum (though it scarcely had any mercatory connotations in Cicero's times); thus, 'entrepreneur' would be inceptor, and 'entrepreneurial altertness', vigilantia inceptoria. Sooner or later, we must be able to talk also about stuff like that without too many compound words. --Neander 14:06, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I think at ;east some of the issue here is that each country has different traditions of naming company types: at least, based on what is reported above, Egger seems to be working from a different set of assumptions. I think that a "societas effectoria" properly means a "corporation", an entity which involves many people that are legally brought together for a purpose and which act as an independent entity. On the other hand, enterprise one meant any business venture whatever regardless of structure, possibly consisting of just one person, or even no persons; by a societas mercatoria is meant a "for profit corporation".
Societas does not just mean a trading association. Societas means, according to Words,
society; alliance/partnership; trading company; fellowship, communion;
joint pursuit/enjoyment/possession; connection, affinity; conjugal union;
That is, in fact, how sociedad is used in spanish where it also loosely translates as "trading association".
But not all trade is for profit. For example, here we are trading information and ideas. Wikipedia I think is a societas encyclopaedica, but I would not describe it as "buying and selling for profit".Societas effectoria conveys to me an association that acts as an entity, i.e. a coporation, but such a thing, i.e. what is traded by such an association, is not necessarily for profit.
Regardless of whether we continue calling a "for-profit company" a societas mercatoria, I think the term should convey the idea of for-profit. An alternative is to change the purpose of this page to be about all corporations, like the english page linked to it, which discusses the legal idea of corporation. But then I think it would be better to create a new page about "societas effectoria" we should just create a new page, right? I would also encourage people to look at es:Sociedad mercantil (which by rights should be linked to our "societas mercatoria" not the present es:Corporación)--Rafaelgarcia 10:39, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
IN societas bonis gignendis why is the ablative used? Isn't societas bonorum gignenndorum or societas fabricans better latin as a name for a manufacturing company?--Rafaelgarcia 10:39, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
It is an ablative qualitatis not unusual like in Index universitatum nominibus Latinis constitutis. There are a few classical examples for it I think like praefectus praetorio. --Alex1011 11:00, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I think, we need a page societas effectoria. My problem is the word "mercatoria" which I would translate by "trading". At the moment DaimlerChrysler (obsolete), EADS, and others appear as "societates mercatoriae", these are imo "societates effectoriae" or "societates bonis gignendis". --Alex1011 11:09, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Sigrides Albert provides societas fabricatoria. You can also find "domus fabricatoria". --Alex1011 11:18, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, here are the entries from Morgan's silva for company/corporation which are not clearly distinguished:
.busn company (comm.) societas (Lev.)
.busn company, corporation / societas (LRL); mercatoria domus (Ciar.)
.busn company, firm / Handelgesellschaft: societas mercatoria [Apinus, Glossarium, 1728] -- Firma: societas 
mercatoria [Latinitas];  quaestuosa societas [Latinitas]; domus (effectrix) [Pal. Lat.]; firma* mercatorum [s.19] (Helf.) 
and for enterprise:
.busn company, business, enterprise / Unternehmen: opus mercatorium; societas bonis 
procreandis [Acta Apost. Sedis, s.20] (Helf.)
--Rafaelgarcia 13:22, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

"The purpose of this page"[fontem recensere]

Re: "An alternative is to change the purpose of this page to be about all corporations, like the english page linked to it, which discusses the legal idea of corporation."—I don't see why this is an alternative. Shouldn't Vicipaedia, as an indispensable matter of policy, have a page that's exactly coordinate with en:Corporation? It could then have separate pages, or subsections of the page, for the (several) types of corporation. ¶ Incidentally, check out en:'s first sentence: "A corporation is a legal entity (technically, a juristic person) which has a legal personality distinct from those of its members." Now that's an interestingly angled gloss! IacobusAmor 12:03, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

I agree, but isn't the same thing accomplished by creating a page "societas effectoria" and linking the english page en:Corporation etc to it? --Rafaelgarcia 13:10, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Only if societas effectoria were the best Latin we could come up with to translate the general English term corporation. Is it? It would have to include condominium associations, for example, which are (at least in the United States) corporations. Incidentally, the adjective effectorius, -a, -um isn't in Cassell's; the Golden Age adjective appears to be effectivus, -a, -um 'productive'. IacobusAmor 14:27, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Good question. Is it?--Rafaelgarcia 14:31, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I went ahead and moved it and generalized the intro to reflect your first sentence above. I think eventually we want a separate page on societates mercatoriae but right now, I think, there is more pressing business, with all those red links all over!:)--Rafaelgarcia 13:47, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Answering the above question: is societas effectoria the best Latin we could come up with to translate the general English term corporation? By googling I found that the societas effectoria glossed as "causative society", "firm", and "agency", but not ever as "corporation". However, I did find the word "corporatus" meaning according to words
endowed with a tangible body; formed into a corporate society;
corporate-, corporation-, of a corporation; (Cal);
Thus it may be better to render corporation as "societas corporata". THis is actually mentioned by Iacobus here Disputatio:BBC (Anglica Televisio Corporatio).
Even more interesting information can be found here:
and here
which which indicates that the proper latin term is "Collegium". This is also attested by words:
collegium, collegi(i)  N (2nd) N   [XXXBO]  
college/board (priests); corporation; brotherhood/guild/company/society/school;
Thus should this page be moved to "Collegium"? My only hesitancy in this is that apparently the concepts were redefined in time as things changed. Because we are describing a modern concept, I hesistate in deciding what to do.--Rafaelgarcia 18:12, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
For the Golden Age (if I'm reading Cassell's right), conlegium is indeed an apt term: it primarily means the relationship of those who hold an office jointly; its concrete meaning is then 'persons united in colleagueship, a body, guild, corporation, college'. And 'a trade guild' is conlegium mercatorum. ¶ I can offer one attestation in this matter: the title page of my copy of the Liber Usualis (1963) names the publisher "DESCLEE COMPANY" (in all caps); on the verso side, in Latin, the publisher is "DESCLÉE & SOCII"; below that, again in English, the copyright holder is "DESCLÉE & CO" (with no period). So 'company' here = Socii. But that may be a different idea from that of "company" in the abstract (and singular). IacobusAmor 18:39, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Societas indeed means company, but in the sense of partnership, "Desclee and partners", whereas, at least according to the britannica article above, the Collegia, legally, were treated differently as legal entities apart from the members, just as corporations are treated separately from their stockholders in modern law.--Rafaelgarcia 18:51, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I am not at all sure whether it should be Vicipaedia's task to offer exact equivalents to English terms, much less so to en: Wikipedia articles. But if we really are to approach this terminological question from a legal angle, collegium (with something like ius or oeconomia in parenthesis) would certainly be the right term. Tres faciunt collegium, as the Roman legal proverb says. If, on the other hand, we just need a handy expression for something like company, enterprise, business (adapting the less meticulous attitude of the inventors of this language), I like domus mercatoria or opus (mercatorium).--Ceylon 18:58, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Or even societas mercatoria which is attested as well.--Rafaelgarcia 20:59, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I would say no, because an enterprise is not a trading enterprise and the term "domus mercatoria" or "opus mercatorium" means the trading business, not business generally. The societas Indiae Orientalis is the East Indian trading company, not an industrial corporation. --Alex1011 22:32, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I think I disagree with you regarding there being a significant difference between a trading company and a business. All businesses engage in trade and profit in some form.--Rafaelgarcia 23:30, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
"East Indian trading company" is not a literal translation of Societates Indiae orientalis but just a name. Societas is wider than just trading company. As Hofmann in his Lexicon summarizes: "Societas Indiae, Orientalis et Occidentalis, ambae collegia sunt auctoritate Ordinum ad certos annos instituta, ut bellum et mercaturam in utraque India, patriae Bono, execeunt.:" THe Society of India, East and West, are both corporations with the authority of Order insituted for some years, for the purpose of conducting war and trade in each of the Indias, for the good of the homeland.: I.e. the British East India Trading Company had the ability to act as a government of the two Indias, with power to both wage war and trade! It did much more than just trade.--Rafaelgarcia 23:19, 11 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I renamed societas mercatoria as societas lucrativa (society for profit) maybe this is neutral enough. Although I think mercatoria is ok and we should still discuss.--Rafaelgarcia 00:15, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Are we certain that Cicero wouldn't read societas lucrativa as 'a profitable company' (opposed to 'an unprofitable company'), rather than 'a for-profit company' (opposed to 'a nonprofit company')? See the worries on the other disputatio page. IacobusAmor 00:20, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
He would, I think, read it as "profit making company", not exactly the same but the difference is small. We do not pretend this to be a literal word-for-word translation. In this case, we are rescued by the fact that a "for profit company" that does not make a profit, will be seriously short-lived, in the absence of divine intervention.--Rafaelgarcia 01:40, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Or that of the Fed!!! IacobusAmor 02:29, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
 :-) --Alex1011 13:17, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

societates[fontem recensere]

We should have:

  • societates
    • other societates
    • "societates oeconomicae" or generally "societates effectoriae"
      • "societates agrariae" doing business in the first sector
      • "societates bonis gignendis" doing business in the second sector
      • societates mercatoriae - trading corporations, part of the service sector.

We might also distinguish between (criterium is profit)

  • societates for profit
  • non-profit (or a equivalent word of other languages like gemeinnützig) societates

and (criterium is the juridical form)

  • personal societates
  • anonymous societates
  • limited
  • and others

Collegium is much too narrow, collegium is a board or something like that. --Alex1011 12:39, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

I disagree with this last part. Based on everything I have read, collegium means corporation in the modern sense of the word, not board. Also societas effectoria appears to mean a firm or agency that administers other companies, not a business ingn general.You should also see societas (ius) which is about societates per se. --Rafaelgarcia 12:58, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I admit (just seen it), Hofmanan uses "collegium" in connection with Indian company. --Alex1011 13:16, 12 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

intervici[fontem recensere]

My feeling is, that the intervici are not consistent, some lead to company, others to enterprise. The German equivalent to "collegium (ius)" Gesellschaft (Recht) is missing, instead there is Unternehmen (enterprise). --Alex1011 16:49, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

terms[fontem recensere]

I think that is the mess, we somehow must sort out:

Secundum Cassell's, the best Latin for 'undertaking' is inceptio (the action) and inceptum, coeptum, res suscepta (the work undertaken). In English, the basic sense of enterprise is "a project or undertaking that is esp. difficult, complicated, or risky" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary), so any business-related sense is a special use of it; cf. the generality of the Latin term societas 'partnership, companionship, fellowship, association'. IacobusAmor 18:22, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
"Societas (effectoria, bonis gignendis)" is scarcely on a par with de:Unternehmen, en:enterprise, fr:entreprise - and for Spanish, see es:Empresa. On this level, we seem to need a Latin term for the basic unit of economic/commercial activity or agency. Faut de mieux, I go for inceptum (and inceptor for 'entrepreneur'). --Neander 22:45, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Like the Bach-Gesellschaft, the association formed to publish of all of J. S. Bach's works? IacobusAmor 18:22, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
I think yes: "community of natural or legal persons|corporations formed for a common purpose, usually established by a legal action" (my translation from German).
Secundum Cassell's: English company (a trading association) = Latin societas. IacobusAmor 18:22, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Secundum Cassell's: English corporation = sodalitas (religious), municipium, conlegium. IacobusAmor 18:22, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

--Alex1011 17:15, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

Yes it appears we are not the only confused people regarding how to name these things in their language. You would think at least they would reasonably link their pages to the en.wiki page.
Some countries/languages possibly do not make a distinction, others may make the distinctions differently depending on their particular laws. In english, we also have LLC in addition to corporation and company. Based on what I have read in the encyclopedia britannica 1911 article is that company/partnership in english corresponds to latin societas (ius) and corporation corresponds to collegium (ius).--Rafaelgarcia 18:19, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
To reiterate corporation is not the same as company. This page is about corporation not company. In the context of Roman law the usage of these terms was very specific.--Rafaelgarcia 18:24, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
corporation = collegium is also in Smith-Hall. I am not sure, however, whether there was not a change of meaning in the English language, once a corporation was a guild-like thing (Smith-Hall: "of the same craft"), now it is a company or firm. "Collegium" is a corporation in the old sense of the word. --Alex1011 22:24, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
It appears from what I have read at en:company that english uses the word company for all kinds of business associations, including corporations, partnerships, etc... In latin company therefore corresponds to a societas oeconomica or a societas mercatoria, i.e.: societates having to to with business ventures (incepta oeconomica).
Regardless of the nature of the interest motivating the formation of the collegium, the definition is that a corporation (collegium) is a special class of company/partnership (societas) that exists independently of its founders from the point of the view of the law, as if it were a child of its parents, for many purposes. Aside from the fact that the specific laws and regulations have changed governing corporations, pertaining to taxes and the issuing and trading of shares, the meaning of collegium is the same as today's (today's modern english) corporation. --Rafaelgarcia 22:59, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

enterprise, firm[fontem recensere]

We must distinguish between the material thing like "fabrica, officina, manufactura, ergasterium" and the legal thing, I (--Alex1011 22:17, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)) take it from above:

Secundum Cassell's, the best Latin for 'undertaking' is inceptio (the action) and inceptum, coeptum, res suscepta (the work undertaken). In English, the basic sense of enterprise is "a project or undertaking that is esp. difficult, complicated, or risky" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary), so any business-related sense is a special use of it; cf. the generality of the Latin term societas 'partnership, companionship, fellowship, association'. IacobusAmor 18:22, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
"Societas (effectoria, bonis gignendis)" is scarcely on a par with de:Unternehmen, en:enterprise, fr:entreprise - and for Spanish, see es:Empresa. On this level, we seem to need a Latin term for the basic unit of economic/commercial activity or agency. Faut de mieux, I go for inceptum (and inceptor for 'entrepreneur'). --Neander 22:45, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)
Smith's English-Latin Dictionary has
  • "enterprise (institution)": nothing.
  • "firm": societas, collegium, and "vide company".
  • "company": societas, collegium
  • Unternehmen (Institution): nothing
  • Firma: domus
Lexicon Recentis Latinitatis (German edition):
  • Unternehmung: domus/societas effectoria, domus/societas bonis gignendis, opus mercatorium
  • Firma: nothing

Other words you can find: "ergasterium" = firm, enterprise. --Alex1011 22:17, 13 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

Societas Europaea[fontem recensere]

In this connection we have as official term: en:Societas Europaea.--Alex1011 07:04, 14 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, as I have indicated above, "company" is "societas (ius)" not "collegium (ius)" which specifically only means "corporation". In this case "societas europe"a means "european company" or "company according to EU statutes". These meanings are explained in the encyclopedia britannica article..--Rafaelgarcia 07:37, 14 Aprilis 2008 (UTC)