Where does the word “scepter” come from and How did the scepter get its name?

The skeptron of the Homeric period of Greece was a walking-stick, a cane or staff for the aged or infirm.

But such a staff was also carried by foot travelers as a weapon of defense, or perhaps of offense.

Either as cane or weapon, however, it received ornamentation and embellishment, and was handed down from father to son in token of transfer of authority. It became enriched with gold or silver studs, and perhaps adorned with gems for persons of high rank or leadership.

In time this simple staff, transformed into a jeweled rod of gold and known to us as scepter, became a symbol of the authority of the leader of an empire, a monarch.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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