Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
The term collegia in Alexandrian Egypt refers to an association based on a particular craft or cult. Examples range from drinking and athletic clubs to trade and craft associations. The collegia provide examples of the social hierarchies that existed within Egypt and special status was given to the collegial elders. Because the Roman authorities viewed the Alexandria collegia as "distinct corporate bodies within the urban populace" they were given certain rights and duties. For example, during the fourth and fifth centuries the collegia were required to keep the city's canals dredged (though this duty was neglected during beginning in the mid-fifth cent. when the emperor in Constantinople no longer required the collegia to clean the canals). In addition, the associations had to collect the city's portion of the imperial tax on urban commerce.
Posted at Dec 06/2010 03:01PM:
ian: They in many ways came to stand in for civil society when the state was not up to the task or had found that they could be coopted to do the work for them.