Is there a distinct differentiation between the words natio, populus, vulgus, cultus, and societas in classical Latin? I'm encountering conflicting definitions in various dictionaries.

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    I can see why one would be interested in the difference between natio, populus and vulgus, but what do cultus and societas have to do with these three? Commented Apr 8, 2023 at 0:14

1 Answer 1

  • natio is racial, familial, group, class, kind, vaguely of other peoples, specially when racially or culturally close
  • populus is people (political, public) or folk
  • vulgus is throng, crowd
  • cultus is religion, sect, culture
  • societas is society, partnership, fellowship; it took a political/public sense
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    Can you add details and cite a source? A quick look at Lewis and Short suggests that there is more to it than what you write.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 6:27
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    "Racial" is a charged and misleading term to use in the context of classical antiquity without a good bit of extra explanation, even if certain dictionaries have been pretty cavalier about it.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 11:20

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