- a bundle of rods containing an ax with the blade projecting, borne before Roman magistrates as an emblem of official power.
Origin of fasces
Examples from the Web for fasces
He desired not the purple and the fasces, the insignia of vulgar command.The Last Days of Pompeii
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
I ask no splendor, no pomp of triumphs, nor lictors with their fasces.Quintus Claudius, Volume 1 of 2
Did you admit a man who was so openly filthy to the fasces and the tribunal?
They also carried the fasces, and executed criminal sentences.Selections from Viri Romae
Charles Franois L'Homond
The number of fasces and lictors varied with the dignity of the magistrate.The New Gresham Encyclopedia
- (in ancient Rome) one or more bundles of rods containing an axe with its blade protruding; a symbol of a magistrate's power
- (in modern Italy) such an object used as the symbol of Fascism
Word Origin and History for fasces
1590s, from Latin fasces "bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade projecting" (plural of fascis "bundle" of wood, etc.), perhaps from PIE *bhasko- "band, bundle" (cf. Middle Irish basc "neckband," Welsh baich "load, burden," Old English bæst "inner bark of the linden tree"). Carried before a lictor, a superior Roman magistrate, as a symbol of power over life and limb: the sticks symbolized punishment by whipping, the axe head execution by beheading.