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Trade Guilds

TRADE GUILDS. Otherwise known as collegia, they are first mentioned in Acts.19.1-Acts.19.41 as a base of organized opposition to the Christian church. These societies were not trade unions in the modern sense. Their functions were primarily social. Records exist of guilds of bakers, bankers, doctors, architects, producers of linen and woolen goods, dyers, workers in metal or stone or clay, builders, carpenters, farmers, pastry cooks, barbers, embalmers, and transport workers. “No other age,” wrote Dill, “felt a greater craving for some form of social life, greater than the family and narrower than the State” (Roman Society from Nero to [[Marcus Aurelius]], p. 271; cf. p.267). The collegia satisfied the need of the humble for the pleasures of social intercourse and the dignity of self-expression. It was the guild of the silversmiths and associated trades that, adroitly led, forced Paul to withdraw from Ephesus. It was, it appears, the guild of the butchers that precipitated the