|Aesop's Twig Fable Shows that Unity is Strength|
|Aesop's Fable the Workers' Centrepiece|
When 19th-century workers without legal rights banded together against their employers and the state legislation to form Trade Unions, Aesop was one of the few ancient authors most of them had met. His fables were used to teach elementary literacy. Integrating an illustration of the fable into a banner was visual shorthand for ‘Unity is Strength’ and widespread, for example in these details from the 1898 banner of the Watford branches of the Worker’s Union and the Ashton & Haydon miners’ union.
|Mussolini's Fascist Twig Bundle (Left)|
|The Power to Punish: Roman Fasces|
|Table where Tom Paine wrote Rights of Man, People's History Museum|
[i] My mind was on organisations set up for self-improvement since I had been invited to address the venerable ManchesterLiterary and Philosophical Society, founded in 1781 and the oldest such group in Britain, on the question of whether Classics is inherently elitist. You can read more about this visit to Manchester on Henry Stead’s blog here.