🏷  Egyptian Greek Latin Semitic pun · symbol   —   by Gerry · Sep 2018 · 2271 words

The fasces are a bundle of sticks, twigs, rods, in later times combined with an axe. The symbol was made famous by the Italian fascists, but it has been used by rulers of all times for symbolism. One origin for the word fasces could be a possible archaic word root √pss, found in Latin & Greek, Semitic & Egyptian, with meanings such as “broken reed”, “division”, “allotment”, “credit”, “broken will”. It may be a spook pun or even related to the now ubiquitous terms fiscus & possession, which is probably why the secret spooky “fiscal possessors” of our world have themselves depicted with fasces all the time.

Houdon’s Washington with fasces

Houdon’s Washington with fasces, considered “one of the most accurate depictions”.

Unclear origin & etymology

As usual with spook symbols, the symbol has no clear origin or etymology. Wikipedia suggests the Etruscans as originators, and “strength through unity” as a symbolic meaning. I don’t yet know who the Etruscans where, but we will see soon that the real meaning of the fasces is “possession”, “commercial credit”, “breaking things apart”, and especially “breaking people’s will”. It’s possible that this archaic root is still related to modern words like possess & fissure.

A few artifacts found showing a thin bundle of rods surrounding a two-headed axe point to a possible Etruscan origin for fasces, but little is known about the Etruscans themselves. Fasces symbolism might be derived via the Etruscans from the eastern Mediterranean, with the labrys, the Anatolian, and Minoan double-headed axe, later incorporated into the praetorial fasces. There is little archaeological evidence for precise claims.


The symbolism of the fasces could suggest strength through unity (see Unity makes strength); a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is very difficult to break.

Wikipedia: Fasces

Egyptian psš for “reed mat”, “spread out”, “distribution”

In Ancient Egyptian, we find the word root psš which means “bundled mats of reeds” or “strip of cloth”, and by derivation “spread out”.

Because the reed mat is made up of separate reed stalks, “dividing” seems to be as much part of of the psš root as “spreading”. Further, more abstract derivations are “distributing”, “allotting”, “arbitrating”. The psš root even has specifically commercial meanings such as “business shares” & “business partners”.

The root still exists in late Coptic Egyptian, with the same set of meanings.

Egyptian psš = reed, mat, bandlet

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏏𓏴𓎅 psšt : carpet, matting of reeds — Egyptian (AED)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏏𓏴𓎅 psšt : reed stalk; carpet, matting — Egyptian (TLA)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏴𓎅 ; 𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏏𓏴𓏛𓎅 pesesh-t : mat, carpet — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓎅𓏴𓏏 pesesh-t : bandlet, bandage, strip of linen — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓈙𓈙𓂻 pšš : straddle, spread oneself over, spread out awnings — Egyptian (AED)

Egyptian , psš = division, share, associate, partner

𓊪𓈙𓏴𓏛 : to divide, to share, to have a share (in) — Egyptian (TLA)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏏𓏴𓏛𓏥 psšt : sharing out, share, portion — Egyptian (AED)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏏𓏴𓏛 psšt : half, part, distribution — Egyptian (TLA)

𓊪𓈙𓊃𓏴𓏛 peshes : to divide, to cleave, to split — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓊃𓏌𓅱𓏏𓏴𓏛𓏥 peshen-t : divisions, shares in an inheritance — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓅱𓏴𓏜𓏪𓀀 pesshu : one who divides, adjudicator — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓊃𓈙𓅱𓏴𓏛𓀀 psšw : arbitrator, associate, partner — Egyptian (TLA)

𓊪𓏲𓅭𓏤𓅭𓏤𓏴𓂡 pusasa : to divide, to separate, to distribute, division — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓋴𓈙𓏴 ; 𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏴𓂡 pesesh : to cleave, to split, to slit, to divide, to divide with, to share or participate with someone, to open the legs or arms, to distribute; Copt. ⲡⲱϣ — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓋴𓈙𓏏𓏴𓏜 ; 𓊪𓊃𓈙𓏏𓏴 pesshe-t : ration, allowance, share, division, allotment, lot, part, portion, division; the half of anything; the two halves, the two portions; divisions, borders, boundaries; Copt. ⲡⲁϣⲉ — Egyptian (Budge)

𓊪𓊃𓏴𓂻 ; 𓊪𓊃𓏴𓂡 pesh : to divide, to split, to cut, to separate, to distribute, to share; Copt. ⲡⲱϣ — Egyptian (Budge)

Coptic paš, pwš = division, fraction

ⲡⲁϣⲉ paše : division, half — Coptic (CDO)

ⲡⲱϣ pwš : divide, be separate — Coptic (CDO)

ⲡⲱϣ pwš : division, fraction — Coptic (CDO)

ⲣⲉϥⲡⲱϣ refpwš : divider, distributor — Coptic (CDO)

ⲡⲣⲏϣ prhš : thing spread (mat, cloak) — Coptic (CDO)

Aramaic pss as “allotment”, “permission”

The Egyptian psš root then also surfaces in Aramaic in the spelling pss, again with the meanings “strip” & “fragment”, but mostly in the derived sense of “allotment” & “permission”. We can see it is the same word root, because the spelling is almost identical, and the meanings are identical.

Aramaic pss = allotment, license, permission

פסס pss : to distribute, to pay off the ketubba, to allot, to permit, to enable, to permit to have something, to be permitted — Aramaic (CAL)

מפס mps : permitted — Aramaic (CAL)

פיס pys : lot — Aramaic (CAL)

פיס pys : to cast lots — Aramaic (CAL)

פס ps : small fragment, strip, portion, lot, fate — Aramaic (CAL)

פסה psh : lot, tax — Aramaic (CAL)

פסס pss : license, permission — Aramaic (CAL)

פסיס psys : permitted, broken — Aramaic (CAL)

Hebrew pss as “dividing”, “breaking will” “feigned transfer”

In Hebrew, apart from the global meanings of “dividing” & “partitioning”, we finally encounter specifically spooky meanings such as “weakening”, “breaking someone’s will”, and even “feigned transfer”. The Hebrew terms are officially derived from Greek πίστις pistis, but we have seen that the word root was present in much older empires.

Hebrew pss = tear, strip, partition, weaken, feigned transfer

פסס pss : to be broad, spread; to tear apart; to strip; cp. Arab. faṣṣa (= he separated) — Hebrew (Klein)

פסס pss : to be cut off, be gone; to cut into stripes, divide; to distribute, spread; to distribute an ulcer by manipulation, to pass over with the hand; to break, weaken — Hebrew (Jastrow)

פס ps : stripe, strip; board, partition; All these words derive from פסס (= to be broad, spread) — Hebrew (Klein)

פיס pys : to split, divide, distribute; to penetrate, cause abdominal trouble; to break a person’s anger or will, to pacify, persuade, comfort; to arbitrate, decide; to decide by chance, by drawing lots, counting a certain number; appeased, satisfied, persuaded — Hebrew (Jastrow)

פסיס psys : persuasion, good-will, accommodation; a deed of sale for accommodation, a feigned transfer (a Hebrew adaptation of πίστις) — Hebrew (Jastrow)

פיסין pysyn : (distributions, cmp. Lat. tributum) taxes, esp. pissim, pissin, name of a Roman tax laid on the community and distributed by the latter according to assessments — Hebrew (Jastrow)

פיסטיס pysṭys : trust; a deed of trust; a feigned sale or donation; (πίστις) — Hebrew (Jastrow)

Greek pistis as “commercial credit”, “trust”

The cited Greek term πῐ́στῐς pistis in various forms has mostly to do with trust & credit, and this explicitly includes “commercial credit”.

Passages from Demosthenes cited in LSJ show that πῐ́στῐς pistis was used in a general as well as in a strictly financial sense.

Greek pistis = commercial credit, trust

πίστει pistei : trust in others, faith, persuasion of a thing, confidence, assurance; credence, credit; in a commercial sense, credit; position of trust or trusteeship; assurance, pledge of good faith, guarantee; that which is entrusted, a trust; political protection or suzerainty — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

πῐ́στῐς pistis : trust in others, faith; belief in a higher power, faith; the state of being persuaded of something: belief, confidence, assurance; trust in a commercial sense: credit; faithfulness, honesty, trustworthiness, fidelity; that which gives assurance: treaty, oath, guarantee; means of persuasion: argument, proof; that which is entrusted — Ancient Greek (Wikt)

πιστός pistos : to be trusted or believed; faithful, trusty; trustworthy, worthy of credit; genuine, unmistakable, trustworthy, sure; deserving belief, credible — Ancient Greek (LSJ.gr)

Depositions have been read to you, men of Athens, showing that the defendant has supplied you with funds in excess of the whole amount that he or anybody else possesses; but Phormio has credit with those who know him for so great an amount and for far larger sums, and through this he is of service both to himself and to you.

τοσαῦτα γάρ, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, χρήμαθ᾽ ὑμῖν ἀνεγνώσθη προσηυπορηκώς, ὅσ᾽ οὔθ᾽ οὗτος οὔτ᾽ ἄλλος οὐδεὶς κέκτηται. πίστις μέντοι Φορμίωνι παρὰ τοῖς εἰδόσι καὶ τοσούτων καὶ πολλῷ πλειόνων χρημάτων, δι᾽ ἧς καὶ αὐτὸς αὑτῷ καὶ ὑμῖν χρήσιμός ἐστιν.

Demosthenes 36 57

Yet, if you had confidence in him when you gave the money, why should you have sought some security for yourself before the crime? But if you distrusted him, why did you not, like the others, get a legal acknowledgement before sailing?”

καίτοι εἰ μὲν εἰς πίστιν ἔδωκας, τί πρὸ τοῦ κακουργήματος ἂν τὰ βέβαι᾽ ἐποιοῦ; εἰ δ᾽ ἀπιστῶν ἐτύγχανες, τί οὐχ, ὥσπερ οἱ ἄλλοι, τὰ δίκαι᾽ ἐλάμβανες ἐν τῇ γῇ;’

Demosthenes 32 16

Latin possesso as “possess”, fiscus as “treasury”, fissus as “fissure”

One very common word that puns with fasces is English possess, derived from Latin possessus. Since the worthless aristocrats pride themselves on possessing the entire world and everything within it, this may be the main reason why they have themselves depicted with fasces all the time.

The words possess & possessus not ownly mean “owning” & “property”, but also mean “seizing”, “controlling”, “mind control”, “giving power”.

The Greek meaning of “credit” is present in Latin fiscus for “treasury”, which is a near-perfect pun with fasces. An additional pun may be with fuscus “darkness”. The “breaking” aspect of the archaic root √pss may also present in Latin as fissus for “fissure” & “splitting”. Official etymologies do not connect all of this of course, so it may be just a pun.

As for the Roman-era lictors carrying those fasces, I also strongly doubt they were bodyguards. Rather, they were assistant banksters to the magistrate bankster. If the Roman fasces were a pun with possesso, then the lictor was probably a pun with locator, i.e. a lessor who leases out property. This pun works even in Italian / English: littoriolettor. The axe called bi-pennis “double-feathered” was perhaps a pun with (double) foenus for “financial interest”. The phoenix is also doubled in heraldics.

In the eyes of the spooks, modern fascism is probably the unchecked rule of the fiscal possessors, and their overlordly birthright to openly treat everything & everyone as their inherited property, to be dealt with at whim. That’s why fascist rule brings back all those old goodies like beatings, torture, slavery, disappearances, and the military state running amok against its own citizens. For some reason however, unveiled fascism is not instituted everywhere today. Specifically, it was abandoned in Germany after the Nazi experiment, even after apparently meeting very little resistance from the German subjects. It may have been just an attempt to make half-fascism under a veil of democracy more appealing. It may also be that the pretense of freedom makes the workforce work harder. But I do hope that there are people even within the spook aristocracy who were appalled by the outcome of their own Nazi experiment, and who’ll hopefully still try to steer their more perverted peers away from it. Looking at how the coronahoax again toys with authoritarian measures though, it’d be about time for those not-totally-fascist spooks to exert more influence.

Latin possessus = possess, seize, hold, occupy, control

possess : to have; to have ownership of; to take control of someone’s body or mind, especially in a supernatural manner; to vest ownership in (someone or oneself); to give (someone) knowledge or power; to acquaint, to inform (someone); From Middle English possessen, from Old French possesser (“to possess”), from Latin possessus, past participle of possideō — English (Wikt)

possessus : possessed, seized — Latin (Wikt)

possessiō : the act of taking possession of, seizing, occupying, taking; the act of holding; possession, occupation, control, occupancy; that which is possessed; a possession, property — Latin (Wikt)

possideō : have, hold, own, possess; possess lands, have possessions; take control or possession of, seize, occupy; occupy, inhabit, abide — Latin (Wikt)

Latin fissus = split

fissus : split, cloven — Latin (Wikt)

fissūra : a cleft, chink; a fissure — Latin (Wikt)

Latin fiscus = treasury, purse

fiscus : a government treasury; borrowed from Latin fiscus (“treasury”) — English (Wikt)

fiscus : basket; purse; treasury, public money; (Imperial period) the assets bound to the function of the emperor, as distinguished from the state-bound assets called aerārium and the emperor’s private property inherited to his private heirs patrimōnium — Latin (Wikt)

Latin lictor = lictor, binder; locator = letter, lessor, contractor, lender

lictor : lictor (officer in Ancient Rome) — Latin (Wikt)

ligō; ligātus : tie, bind; bandage, wrap around; unite — Latin (Wikt)

locātor : letter, lessor (person who lets or hires); contractor — Latin (Wikt)

locō; locātor : put, place, set; arrange, establish; lease, hire out, lend — Latin (Wikt)

Fasces as a spook symbol before & after fascism

The fasces have been used all over the entire world, and throughout history, apparently by totally unrelated rulers of any stripe. A good non-exhaustive list of fasces symbolism, used by spooks who were not “fascist” in the official sense, can bee seen on German Wikipedia: Fascis. They’re everywhere.

With the strong commercial emphasis of pss in all languages, we may conclude that the original aristocratic meaning was “shares in possession” & “commercial credit”. The fasces likely represented finance & banking, in times when its existence was barely known to the public, much less its supreme dominion over all other branches of power.

The horrible spook invention of modern fascism then took the meaning of “breaking apart” literally: to break society apart with violence & terror, and to break people’s will. All these meanings are present in the pss root. World War II was also likely used to “divide” the world once again, and to re-“allot” proportions of it to the ruling “fiscal possessors”.

🏷  Egyptian Greek Latin Semitic pun · symbol