related topics
{company, market, business}
{church, century, christian}
{law, state, case}
{theory, work, human}
{land, century, early}
{@card@, make, design}
{work, book, publish}
{group, member, jewish}
{city, large, area}
{school, student, university}
{country, population, people}
{system, computer, user}
{rate, high, increase}
{film, series, show}
{game, team, player}
{black, white, people}
{day, year, event}
{town, population, incorporate}
{son, year, death}
{food, make, wine}
{god, call, give}

A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel and a secret society. They often depended on grants of letters patent by an authority or monarch to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials. A lasting legacy of traditional guilds are the guildhalls constructed and used as meeting places.


Background of early guild like associations AD 300 - 600

In pre-industrial cities, craftsmen tended to form associations based on their trades, confraternities of textile workers, masons, carpenters, carvers, glass workers, each of whom controlled secrets of traditionally imparted technology, the "arts" or "mysteries" of their crafts. Usually the founders were free independent master craftsmen.

During the Indian Gupta-period (AD 300 - 600) Indian craftmen's associations, which may have had archaic antecedents, were known as shreni. Greek organizations in Ptolemaic Egypt were called koinon, starting from their 3rd century BC origins of Roman collegia, spread with the extension of the Empire. The Chinese hanghui probably existed already during the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220):, but certainly they were present in the Sui Dynasty (589 - 618 AD). Roman craftsman's organizations continued to develop in Italy of the Middle Ages under the name ars. In Germany they are first mentioned in the 10th century. The German name is Zunft (plural Zünfte). Métiers in France and craft gilds in England emerged in the 12th century. Craft organizations (senf, sinf) stemmed from the 10th century in Iran, and were seen to spread also in Arabia and Turkish regions under the name futuwwah or fütüvvet. 900 of the carvers of Benin are said to have founded their own organization. In the neighbouring tribes of Yoruba and Nupe the organizations were given the names egbe and efakó. Specifically, within the medieval Oyo Empire of present day southwestern Nigeria and Benin, separate guilds developed for professional dancers, mask carvers, and musicians associated with egungun ancestral masquerade performances often regarded as the predecessor to the traveling Alarinjo theatre.[1]

Full article ▸

related documents
Public limited company
Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act
Quality control
Market trends
Arthur Andersen
Stock market bubble
Special Economic Zone
Tertiary sector of the economy
British Aerospace
Great Society
Economy of Malawi
Financial statements
World Bank Group
Economy of Albania
Economy of the Netherlands
Economy of Nicaragua
Economy of Libya
Poison pill
Monopolistic competition
Economy of Luxembourg
Railway Mania
Economy of the United Arab Emirates
Economy of Slovenia
Economy of Liberia
Economy of Italy
Economy of Trinidad and Tobago