This chapter discusses the characteristics of the commenda, its origins, and its migration. The commenda was much more than a simple profit-sharing contract. It was a complex cluster of contracts that was not likely to have been invented casually and endemically. The chapter provides a survey of the migration of the commenda, which creates the discrete bodies of literature that discuss the appearances of the commenda in various regions of Eurasia. It talks about how the commenda is not an employment or a loan contract as the payoffs are not determined ex ante but rather ex post. It is an equity investment. The traveler does not receive a predetermined wage or interest but rather a share in the profits.
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