Parts of a fasces

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The Narrative

The idea that the fasces was ever used to execute anyone is highly unlikely, to the point of the idea being absurd. As a symbol, it is unwieldy and clumsy even to hold, let alone use. Such slanders stem from ancient propaganda, designed to smear a high office of Rome, by those expelled from its society. [1] Similarly, it is highly unlikely that the lictors disassembled their standard of office, to use the reeds, sometimes decorated in gold, to flog criminals. [2]

Fasces Construction and Symbology

Tenaci: A somewhat longer and thicker stick that runs down the center of the fasces. Not every fasces has one. In ancient Rome the piece was called "cor". Where it exists, it represents the heart and soul of society. In practice the tenaci is not technically a part of a fasces, as it is actually used as a handle to make the symbol a bit less unwieldy. Sometimes the animus is mounted on it as well. [3]

The Turba: A bundle of reeds or sticks that represent the people, working together for a single purpose. Each is Important. Remove one stick, and the fasces becomes weak. Remove two, and the fasces completely falls apart.[4]

The animus: A weapon or tool. The reason the fasces was created, it's purpose. (Usually an axe-blade, but it can be anything useful. Generally it is an object that can be both a weapon and a tool.) Represents the focus of the fasces. It represents the power of society, the strength of what all those little sticks can do when working together for a single purpose. The style of the weapon or tool should be unique for each individual society. Fascism has many different styles.[4]

The corium: Or "corium lorum", literally "leather strap", represents the leader. A single person with a single purpose, to keep society together. Tight where it needs to be, supple elsewhere, it forms itself to the shape of the sticks, while simultaneously it guides the sticks so that they are not all over the place. It snaps none in half, for that will only hurt society as a whole. There can only be one, for two leather straps will bind into each other and interfere with one another.[4]

see also


  1. Bloom, J.J. 2010 The jewish Revolts Against Rome, A.D. 66–135: A Military Analysis. McFarland.
  2. Greek and Roman texts and facing English translation: Harvard University Press, 1914 thru 1927.Online in LacusCurtius and Book scan in Internet Archive.
  3. Cassius Dio, translation by Earnest Cary. Roman History, book 69, 11.3–12.1 Loeb Classical Library, 9 vols
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Cassius Dio, translation by Earnest Cary. Roman History, book 69, 12.1–14.3. Loeb Classical Library, 9 vols