Hanse (n.)

also Hansa, medieval merchants' guild, late 12c. in Anglo-Latin, via Old French hanse and Medieval Latin hansa, both from Middle Low German hanse "fellowship, merchants' guild," from Old High German hansa "military troop, band, company." This is related to Gothic hansa "troop, company, multitude," Old English hos "attendants, retinue." A member was a Hansard. Compare Hanseatic.