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Somebody used fasciae in a game I was playing (it was the bundle of sticks or twigs carried by Roman consuls as symbols of their authority). Can anyone tell me if it is related to fascism as a word?

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etymonline gives (under fascist): "Fasci "groups of men organized for political purposes" had been a feature of Sicily since c.1895, and the 20c. totalitatrian sense probably came directly from this, but influenced by the Roman fasces, which became the party symbol." See also fasces which confirms the connection. – ShreevatsaR Oct 29 '11 at 12:39
Not strictly an answer, but perhaps interesting: biology uses the term "fascia" (i.e., bundle or grouping) to refer to the sheath of connective tissue that wraps each muscle fiber. – Handyman5 Oct 29 '11 at 16:08

3 Answers 3

Yes, the terms are related. says that fasciae comes from Latin for band, bandage; "akin to fasces". The origin of fascism is given as:

Origin: 1915–20; < Italian fascismo, equivalent to fasc(io) bundle, political group (see fasces) + -ismo -ism

Wikipedia explains the connection:

The term fascismo is derived from the Latin word fasces. The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods that were tied around an axe, was an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrate. They were carried by his lictors and could be used for corporal and capital punishment at his command. The word fascismo also relates to political organizations in Italy known as fasci, groups similar to guilds or syndicates. The symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is difficult to break.

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According to OED, the word fascism has its origins in the word 'fascis' meaning bundle. So, to answer your question, these two words are probably related

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Yes it comes from the Latin fascis meaning bundle. According to my father-in-law, who is Italian, the individual sticks of the fascis are easily broken; however as a bundle or fascis they can not.

Meaning: Strength United

So the Romans’ fascis was a symbol of strength. Similarly fascists have strength as a group.

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Although this answer lacks a reference that can be easily checked, it does have a reference -- "Priv.Comm. from my father-in-law", which works for me. In the opinion of long-time users of this site, does this qualify as a reference? – ab2 Jul 25 at 14:16

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