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Securis


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     Securis, axe, or hatchet. - The fasces which the Lictors carried before the Roman consuls and other very high magistrates, consisted originally of axes, the long handles of which were bound up in a surrounding case of rods. The custom dated itself so far back as the age of Romulus, who, it is said, borrowed it from the kings of Etruria. But soon after the establishment of a republician government at Rome, the fasces (as we learn from Dionysius of Halicarnassus) were allowed to be armed with the secures only when the consuls left the city to join the army. These awful instruments, as denoting the power of life and death, were however permitted to be joined to the fasces of the dictator, whether in the city or at a distance from it, to the number of twenty four. The same number was also granted to both consuls if they happened both to march forth together.

   Havercamp observes that the Secures in fascibus have, by way of ornament, the head sometimes of a horse, sometimes of a ram, placed on the middle of them. An example of this kind is given in Morell, on coins of the Licinia moneyer and also of the gens Norbana, so far as relates to the fasces, but the securis does not appear on them. [The types in question may, therefore, perhaps, be considered to represent the fasces in the state in which they were borne before the consuls within the city.]


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