One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in ancient Rome) an officer attending the consul or other magistrate, bearing the fasces, and executing sentences on offenders.
- ‘To the right of Symphorien, who is led to his death by a pair of fasces-wielding lictors, a youth stoops to gather stones, which he will hurl at the saint's mother.’
- ‘The very word ‘Fascism’ is an allusion to the tied-up bundle of rods (the fasces) that the lictors of ancient Rome bore as a visible symbol of the united strength of the Roman people.’
- ‘Like the fasces carried by Roman lictors, weaving, in which separate strands are plaited together to form a new and far more robust entity, becomes the embodiment of communal strength and unity of purpose.’
- ‘The fasces of Italian fascism are nicked from the fasces carried by the lictors, symbolising the unity of the Roman people.’
- ‘She hurried over to a pair of lictors who were lounging against a column and waiting for their senator to return from his private meeting.’
- ‘If the legionnaires don't have the good eats, then how can they perform anything but abysmally for their lictors?’
- ‘Thus, the (relatively light-skinned) lictor at right, far from exalting in his barbarous duties, leads Symphorien to his death with obvious reluctance; he is, in short, the very picture of pity and regret.’
- ‘The peaceful panels with Numa and Pax thus frame the south processional frieze, which includes Augustus with priests and lictors, followed by members of the imperial family.’
- ‘The fasces of ancient Roman times were of course the bundles of rods carried by the lictors to symbolize the great strength of the organized Roman people.’
- ‘To flesh out further this last rather willfully provocative statement, we must return to the reaction elicited by the proletariat's principal surrogates in Saint Symphorien - the two foreground lictors.’
Latin, perhaps related to ligare ‘to bind’.
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