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.

  • 2
    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? Apr 8 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
  • 2
    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
    Apr 19 at 6:27
  • 1
    "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
    Apr 19 at 11:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.