I. Etymology and definition [German version] A. Definition As demonstrated by Benveniste  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 to a contribution towards fortification purposes. The grammarian Verrius Flaccus, a contemporary of …