(Late Latin: syndicus
; Greek: σύνδικος, sýndikos
– one who helps in a court of justice, an advocate, representative) is a term applied in certain countries to an officer of government with varying powers, and secondly to a representative or delegate of a university, institution or other corporation, entrusted with special functions or powers.
The meaning which underlies both applications is that of representative or delegate. Du Cange (Gloss, s.v. Syndicus
), after defining the word as defensor, patronus, advocatus, proceeds "Syndici maxime appellantur Actores universitatum, collegiorum, societatum et aliorum corporum, per quos, tanquam in republica quod communiter agi fierive oportet
, agitur et fit," and gives several examples from the 13th century of the use of the term. The most familiar use of syndic
in the first sense is that of the Italian sindaco
, who is the head of the administration of a comune
, comparable to a mayor, and a government official, elected by the residents of commune.