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The general term in Latin for an association. The word was applied in a different sense to express the mutual relation of such magistrates as were collegoe. Besides the collegia of the great priesthoods, and of the magistrates' attendants (see APPARITORES), there were numerous associations, which, although not united by any specifically religious objects, had a religious centre in the worship of some deity or other. Such were the numerous collegia of artisans (opificum or artificum), and the societies existing among the poor for providing funerals, which first appear under the Empire. The political clubs (collegia sodalicia ) were associated in the worship of the Lares Compitales , and were, indeed, properly speaking, collegia compitalicia , or " societies of the cross-ways." The religious societies were, in some instances, established by the State for the performance of certain public religious services (see SODALITAS), in other cases they were formed by private individuals, who made it their business to keep up the shrines of particular deities (often foreign deities) at their own expense.
Type: Standard
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