Back Pagus & Sodalitas


A Pagus is a small-scale economic community.

For the Romans a Pagus was a small village or rural neighbourhood which of necessity needed to support itself economically.

In modern useage it is an economic community on the same scale as a natural community - i.e. small enough for people to know each other personally and develop relationships that go beyond that of a single transaction. This perhaps gives an upper limit of 500 people for the size of a Pagus.

A Pagus could be structured as an eco-village - i.e. a residential community of people with their own defined territory seeking to live with low environmental impact providing for their own economic needs with a minimum of inputs from outside.

However an alternative kind of Pagus is the Urban Pagus.

In an Urban Pagus members may live dispersed among the general population but acquire plots of land or buildings for the shared use of members and to facilitate common production of the necessities of life. This might include gardening plots, workshops, kitchens and general living areas. Most adult members might work some hours a week in the mainstream economy but restrict these hours so that they also have some time and energy to devote to the Pagic economy.


A Sodalitas is a fellowship - a group of people who have banded together for mutual support and who engage in shared practices such as rituals , spiritual activities, study or communal meals.

In Roman times membership of a Sodalitas was particularly attractive for those who had moved away from their native villages into the cities or into military service and wanted to reclaim some of the closeness and support they had had in the rural community.

A Sodalitas would have had quite a small membership. The size of the meeting places of Mithraic Sodalitas suggest that not more than 25 people could have met together at the same time.

For people today membership of a Sodalitas can also bring promise of community for those who feel its lack - a pervasive problem in modern society.

A Sodalitas requires activities for people to be engaged in - and these are typically in the first instance inward-directed activities - i.e. ones focussed on the needs of the people engaged in them rather than outward-focussed ones (such as economic work).

However the benefits of a Sodalitas should be to develop its members abilities and ability to work together so that they can work as a team on whatever they wish - and this might include engaging in economic activities with fellow members (but probably outside the organisation of the Sodalitas) as part of a Pagus (or City) economy .