An organization is a group of people who combine their resources in pursuit of common goals external to the needs of the group itself. Facilities are those places and objects used to achieve these goals. An example from OTL is the United Nations, as an organization, and the UN Headquarters in New York, as a facility. Similarly, this timeline is home to an array of organizations formed for a variety of purposes.
Being an organization encompasses several distinct criteria. There are political organizations, which either use or attempt to use power from one or more states; there are commercial organizations, which try to turn profits through business practices of either a legitimate or a nefarious nature, and there are public organizations, which are run by ordinary people, or another organization, for a public cause. These criteria are quite general but some organizations fall outside them. Nevertheless, they serve as a useful guide to understanding organizations.
Some specific classifications of organizations are guilds, governments, non-governmental organizations, alliances, armed forces, academies, and partnerships. Each kind of organization satisfies the criterion of uniting the powers of a group towards its collective goals. A state or nation does not qualify as an organization since it solely exists for the well-being and growth of its members, not the pursuit of some external goals.
Any organization whose goals concern the administration of a state or collection of states is political in nature. One country might be managed by multiple political organizations that may or may not be structured through a hierarchy of power. The government of Rome is an example of a non-hierarchical, or at least non-linear, political organization where different organizations like the Senate and Caesar possess powers independently of the others but which regulate one another's functions. The Inca government is a hierarchical political organization, one where all organs of government follow a supreme monarch.
Within a government are the political organs delegated certain functions of administering the state. Most countries both ancient and modern subdivide their governments into a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary though some structure this delegation by share each type between organs by assigning them specific roles. In the latter sense, the different organs of government have their distinct legislative, executive and judicial roles.
Legislatures for humanity's largest countries are:
Some political organizations are formed by an agreement between governments. Such alliances limit the activities of the member governments but can coordinate the powers of multiple states toward a single goal. These tend to form as a condition of international treaties which impose obligations between countries.
The Elders of Japan possess unusual qualities for a political organization, receiving effectively no power and not involving themselves in any legislative deliberations. They are an example of an advisory body within government. The Officium Regis is another instance of such an organization.
Emperors, kings, and presidents are executive leaders, in effect an organization since they each exercise power for a purpose beyond themselves - the administration of a country. Caesars are the most famous instance of this sort of body, distinguished for receiving powers on the basis of rigorous political theory. Supreme among these leaders in their power over a state are the Tennō of Japan and the Sapa Inca of Tawatinsuyu. They are literally regarded as living deities by their people and are in every sense of the term absolute monarchs.
Any organization devoted to the financial benefit of a subset of its members is commercial in nature. In other words it is a business, since no organization could turn a profit without some exchange of goods or services. In Rome, a commercial organization bears the name collegium (guild) as a generic term.
Private collegia are the foundation of the Roman economy. In ancient times, people with power would found a collegium and employ other citizens or buy slaves to perform some task that turned a profit. Such businesses could be bought and sold by the owners or even shared in a joint ownership. As some guilds reached national scales of economic production, the Senate sought to regulate their ownership. It passed legislation in 848 that set a national standard for ownership of guilds. Every guild had to declare the value of its capital and from this market forces established a effective price for the guild. This total price could be subdivided into any proportional pieces that represented partial ownership in the guild - partes (business shares).
With further legislation that set up a forum of exchange for these shares, the Forum Pars Romanum (Roman Stock Exchange), the modern system of parsimonium (capitalism) was born. Japan, Scandinavia, China, and several lesser states have copied this economic system as an efficient way of regulating ownership. Only the Maya Conglomerate and Tawatinsuyu operate with a different system, one which is more suitable to their planned economies. Planned and market economies are the world's general economic systems. Perhaps the most important facet of guilds, for the development of civilization, is that almost no research is directly funded by a guild. Academies pay for research into particular subjects but are offered grants from businesses, individuals, or the government to shift toward different areas. These requests are usually not specific enough to limit the academies to work of a certain bias. The pursuit of knowledge, not money, is considered the only worthy purpose for anyone engaged in natural or moral philosophy. A collegium will get a bad reputation with the public and government if it is seen to be forcing an economy to perform research for its sole benefit or to falsify data to support preconceived conclusions. Overtly, grants are a sort of charity from rich people and organizations in support of the development of Rome, and in return the research might solve technical problems for the donors.
The largest Roman guilds are:
- Collegium Aegypti Annona
- Collegium Mercatoris
- Collegium Melitae Mercatora
- Collegium Promercallus Cornelii