It turns out that I stumbled onto the symbol of Italian Fascist power.

My previous sketch is of Fasces on an exterior wall of the Theatre of Marcellus. The image is called fasces and has a history going back to the early Etruscans. An ax head is attached to a bundle of rods using a strip of leather. A longer rod is in the center of the bundle making it easier to carry and handle.

In the Roman Empire the bundle of rods symbolized strength through unity. One rod is weak but many bound together are strong. It symbolized power and authority of Rome, particularly of the magistrate’s judicial powers.

It is used as a symbol in many countries, including in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. However, the 20’Th century, Italian Fascists derive their name from the fasces and it is now strongly associated with them.

So I have stumbled on an image with layers symbolic content. I am drawn to the image but not to its fascist symbolism. Is there some way I can subvert its meaning?

The Fasces

My Daily Sketch from yesterday:





3 thoughts on “Oops!

  1. Interesting that the Fascists changed the meaning of the bundled wood much as the Nazis changed the meaning of the symbol they adopted: the swastika. When we explore our world with open eyes, looking for the details around us… we see and learn so much! Thank you Anne for sharing the details you discover in Rome.


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