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Fasces (was Re: Greekisms in Spanish)

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Thursday, February 18, 1999, 21:14
At 11:59 am -0500 18/2/99, Brian Betty wrote:
>On 2-17-99, Pablo Flores wrote: "'fascis' 'a lot of plant stems tied >together" (what's the English word?)" > >The English word for those are 'fasces,' a borrowing of the Latin >terminology.
Yes, but _only_ in the technical sense of "a bundle of rods, with or without an ax(e), born before an ancient Roman magistrate of high grade". It signified the magistrate's power to beat (and execute). The form with the ax was adopted by Mussolini as the symbol of his new party whose followers were "i fascisti", hence 'fascist'.
>If you are referring to a more colloquial term, you may be >thinking of 'sheaf,' but that only means "wheat tops tied together,' as in >a Roman statue of Ceres.
Yep, and 'fascis' could mean just that, as well as "bundle" (of straw, twigs, logs etc) or "fagot". I was probably cognate with 'fascia' = "band, swathe, girdle". Ray.