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Class

Early Histories, The Renewal Of Class, The Marxist Transformation, The Weberian Reply, Marxist Rejoinders

The term class is used in a wide range of intellectual discourses, including logic, the natural sciences, and pedagogy. At its Latin origins, however, classis was first and foremost a social term, denoting the division of the Roman people attributed to King Servius Tullius (r. 578–534 B.C.E.). In early Rome, class connoted a distinction in rank between those who paid tribute (property tax) and those who did not, as well as the system of divisions between types of military service. In particular, classis often seems to have been reserved to describe citizens on the lower social and economic rungs. Only after the principate of Augustus (31 B.C.E.–14 A.D.) did classis come to be employed in a more general sense to mean a division of all sorts of things into groups.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to Cluster