Fasces (ˈfæsiːz ; ˈfaskeːs; a plurale tantum, from the Latin word fascis, meaning "bundle"; fascio littorio) is a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe (occasionally two axes) with its blade emerging. The fasces is an Italian symbol that had its origin in the Etruscan civilization and was passed on to ancient Rome, where it symbolized a magistrate's power and jurisdiction. The axe, originally associated with the labrys (Greek: λάβρυς, lábrys) the double-bitted axe, originally from Crete, is one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization. To the Romans, it was known as a bipennis.
The image has survived in the modern world as a representation of magisterial or collective power, law, and governance. The fasces frequently occurs as a charge in heraldry: it is present on the reverse of the U.S. Mercury dime coin and behind the podium in the United States House of Representatives; and it was the origin of the name of the National Fascist Party in Italy (from which the