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History of Cane 8

The Canes in the period of the Roman Empire

Among Etruscans, the cane evolved from a simple piece of wood, to a more elaborated object. It became a luxury item, linked to attire and fashion.

In Rome, all men carried cane. Women and young Romans started decorating them, with garlands of artificial flowers, later adding precious stones.

Among the most famous canes is the Lituus, with a curved upper part. It was used by the augurs, (oracles) as well as by priests, when they were consulted on private or public matters.

In this nation of warriors , the cane often became, a symbol of rank and leadership, for example the ivory sceptrum, or the vine stock that centurions considered as their emblem, and used as an object of punishment.

In the hands of heralds, the baton was used to declare war, by throwing a blood-stained baton in the enemy camp. Conversely, it also meant peace, when presented as a caduceus on the battle field.

Tarquin the Old, was the first to carry a sceptre in Rome, and adopted it, as a royal emblem featuring an eagle on it.

Caius Popilius Loenas, was sent by the Senate, as ambassador to Antochius Epiphanius , king of Syria. His mission was to claim back Egypt, which had been conquered by Antochius. When he saw that the king was not giving in, he traced a circle around him with his cane, and simply said : “before you come out of this circle, you’ll have to give me the answer, I have to bring back to Rome”. Antochius complied.

Roman senators adopted the ivory baton (“ the scipio”), as the emblem of their rank and status

The Gauls

When Gallic troops, under Brunus, entered Rome they found the senators, all carrying ivory scipios in their hands. Surprised by such grandor, the Barbars stopped. However when one of them, dared to touch the beard of senator Papirius, the latter hit him with his scipio. This was the signal for the massacre of the senators.

In the druidic religion, which originated in the forests, and which was, characterised by the veneration of the oak, oracles were pronounced, with a white stick believed to have magic properties.

During centuries, the magic stick of druids, was used in bloody ceremonies, celebrated in the woods