The fasces lictoriae ("bundles of the lictors") (in Italian, fascio littorio) was, in ancient Rome, a symbol of power and authority (imperium). It was carried before a magistrate, in a number corresponding to his rank, in public ceremonies and inspections. The rods were used to whip delinquents on the spot. If it included an axe, it represented the power to decapitate. It was carried by heroic soldiers (they had to have been injured in battle) during the triumphs (public celebrations held in Rome after a military conquest).