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Munus, Munera
(5,302 words)

I. Etymology and definition

[German version]

A. Definition

As demonstrated by Benveniste [1] Lat. munus, derived from the root mei, to ‘(ex)change’, is closer related to exchange rather than gift. Varro, in his proposed etymology of munus (Varro, Ling. 5,179: munus, quod mutuo animo qui sunt, dant officii causa; alterum munus, quod muniendi causa imperatum; cf. [5. 141]), emphasised in his first example the reciprocity of giving; in his second example munus referred t…

Cite this page
Corbier, Mireille (Paris) and Hönle, Augusta (Rottweil), “Munus, Munera”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 24 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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