Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Nousek, Debra L


Lictors attended the senior magistrates of Rome for nearly its entire history. As an important part of the apparatus of state, lictors have received little scholarly attention in their own right. This thesis explores the roles lictors played within the constitution of Rome and how they supported and reinforced the authority of the magistrates. Lictors were highly symbolic as representatives of state authority and were used in the literary sources to demonstrate certain aspects of the state. Finally, material evidence for lictors is analyzed to provide a picture of lictors as people and as a social class that is not described in the literary sources. This thesis concludes that lictors formed an essential component of magisterial authority, were potent symbols of state, and formed an important part of the civil service for the sub-elite classes.