Commenda

The commenda was a medieval contract which developed in Italy around the 10th century, and was an early form of limited partnership.[1][2]

The commenda was an agreement between an investing partner and a traveling partner to conduct a commercial enterprise, usually overseas.[3] The terms of the partnership varied, and are usually categorized by modern historians as unilateral commenda and bilateral commenda, based on the share of contributions and profits between the partners.[4] The bilateral commenda was known in Venice as colleganza or collegantia.[5] The commenda has been described as a foundational innovation in the history of finance and trade.[4][6][7]

Description

The commenda was a partnership between an investing partner (called the commendator, or socius stans) and a traveling partner (called the tractator or socius procertans).[8] The investing partner would provide the capital and the traveling partner would execute a commercial enterprise (generally an overseas trade), the initial capital would be retruned to the investing partner and the remaining profits would then be split.[9] The commenda was in essence as joint-stock company for the financing of a single expedition.[7] Depending on the contribution of the traveling partner, historians define two types of commenda:

  • Unilateral commenda: the investing partner would contribute the capital and a traveling partner none; the profits would be split three fourth for the investing partner and one fourth for the traveling partner.[10]The investing partner bore all liability for loss, while the traveling partner bore none.[4] The Statutes of Marseille of 1253 state protected the traveling partner against lawsuits following shipwreck or capture of the ship.[4] It was called commendatio in Venice.[8]
  • Bilateral commenda, the investing partner would put up two thirds of the capital and the traveling partner one third, and the profits would be split evenly.[10]The investing partner bore two thirds of any loss, while the traveling partner bore one third.[4] It was called colleganza or collegantia in Venice and societas in Genoa.[8][1]

Each individual contract was different, and sometimes the investment was a share in a ship.[10]

History

The origins of the commenda are debated, and likely derived from several sources including the Babylonian tapputûm, the Greco-Roman societas consensu contracta and foenus nauticum, the Byzantine chreokoinonia, the Muslim qirad, and the Jewish ‘isqa.[11][12][1] Although it has precedent in these previous types of contracts, the commenda has peculiariteis of its own.[1] The first mention of the Venetian colleganza dates to 1073, but it had been used since the 10th century.[13][8] By the 12th century, the commendatio had supplanted the colleganza in Venice.[8]

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:ab c d Lopez, Robert Sabatino; Raymond, Irving Woodworth; Constable, Olivia Remie (2001). Medieval Trade in the Mediterranean World: Illustrative Documents. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-12356-3.
  2. ^Luzzatto, Gino (1954). Studi di storia economica veneziana(in Italian). Padova: CEDAM. OCLC 7341360.
  3. ^Van Doosselaere, Quentin, 1961- (2009). Commercial agreements and social dynamics in medieval Genoa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0-511-51790-7. OCLC 371197311.
  4. ^ Jump up to:ab c d e Pryor, John H. (January 1977). “The Origins of the Commenda Contract”. Speculum. 52 (1): 5–37. doi:10.2307/2856894. ISSN 0038-7134.
  5. ^Setton, Kenneth M. (September 1985). A History of the Crusades: The Impact of the Crusades on the Near East. Univ of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-09144-6.
  6. ^Nisen, Max. “How Globalization Created And Destroyed The City Of Venice”. Business Insider. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  7. ^ Jump up to:ab Freeland, Chrystia (2012-10-13). “Opinion | The Self-Destruction of the 1 Percent (Published 2012)”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  8. ^ Jump up to:ab c d e “Eta Ducale – Le risorse: MERCATURA E MONETA in “Storia di Venezia””. www.treccani.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  9. ^Paine, Lincoln (2013-10-29). The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-96225-6.
  10. ^ Jump up to:abc Lopez, Robert Sabatino; Raymond, Irving Woodworth; Constable, Olivia Remie (2001). Medieval Trade in the Mediterranean World: Illustrative Documents. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-12356-3.
  11. ^Pryor, John H. (1977-01-01). “The Origins of the Commenda Contract”. Speculum. 52(1): 5–37. doi:10.2307/2856894. ISSN 0038-7134.
  12. ^Trevisanato, Andrea <1958> (2015-02-24). “Il contratto di colleganza nella documentazione medievale veneziana. Studio storico e diplomatistico”.
  13. ^Lopez, Robert Sabatino; Raymond, Irving Woodworth; Constable, Olivia Remie (2001). Medieval Trade in the Mediterranean World: Illustrative Documents. Columbia University Press. pp. 176–177. ISBN 978-0-231-12356-3.

Ofer Abarbanel – Executive Profile

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library