One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bundle of rods with a projecting axe blade, carried by a lictor in ancient Rome as a symbol of a magistrate's power, and used as an emblem of authority in Fascist Italy.
- ‘On March 23, 1919, Mussolini and other war veterans founded in Milan a revolutionary, nationalistic group called the Fasci di Combattimento, named for the ancient Roman symbol of power, the fasces.’
- ‘That is, they referred to the Roman fasces, which had been the symbol of the Roman legions, marching out to war, and called this ‘Fascism’; but it was actually Synarchism from France.’
- ‘So, fascism essentially meant the Mussolini movement's adoption of the fasces as the symbol of what became known as the Fascist movement.’
- ‘After 1792 the trappings of Roman republicanism became fashionable, with fasces and axes; and stern ancient patriots like Brutus, Scaevola, and Cato, familiar to all men of education, were much invoked.’
- ‘The symbol of the Etruscan king's right to execute his subjects was a bundle of rods and an axe: the fasces (from which Mussolini created the Fascisti in the 20th century).’
Latin, plural of fascis ‘bundle’.
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