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Historical Note: Commenda is the original form of commercial partnerships. It was first used in the eleventh century by Italian merchants when Europe was experiencing increased spice trade from the orient. Western merchants engaged in remote shipping ventures and, as a result, became aware of the business practices and commercial legal codes of Byzantium and the Islamic states. While they were familiar with the commercial laws of Rome, as reflected in the Justinian Code, Western merchants borrowed the commenda, as reflected in Islamic law and combined it with the Roman societies to create the forms of commercial trade agreements that we enjoy today. For those early global merchants the Commenda was the FIRST and most enduring partnership for financing growing companies.