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Voluntary Associations

(5,190 words)

Author(s): Häusler, Michael | Schäfer, Alfred | Kuhlemann, Frank-Michael | Kaiser, Jochen-Christoph | Haering, Stephan | Et al.
[German Version] I. History 1. Terminology. The use of the term “association” to denote the formal union of persons and bodies has been common since the 19th century, especially through its application in the legal area. Associations were and are also called societies, unions, corporations, cooperatives, federations, groups, initiatives, movements etc. Modern unions are defined as the voluntary union of originally separate forces to achieve a common aim. By their structural features of free choice and a common aim, they are essentially different…


(277 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Alfred
[German Version] I Ecstatic processions involving gods, muses, composite beings, or a Dionysiac retinue were called thiasoi. II The usual Greek term for a cultic association was thiasos or sometimes simply koinon. The membership and voluntary organizational form of such associations resembled that of the voluntary associations (I, 2) in the Roman world; worshipers of Dionysus were prominent in such organizations. Dionysiac performers called technitai were likewise organized into thiasoi. But a Dionysiac association could also be called a bakcheion or speira; there were regio…

Right of Association

(510 words)

Author(s): Schäfer, Alfred
[German Version] I. Laws of association decreed in the interest of the Roman state often relate to the city of Rome. It is not always possible to gather from the tradition how far the leges de collegiis were also binding in the rest of Italy and the provinces. In the Greek-speaking East in particular, there was probably a diversity of local legal standards; therefore, Roman civic regulations cannot be transferred without qualification. However, in conflicts between the interests of associations and the state, or when revenues were…