This is a statue of a lictor who preceded the consul wherever he went while carrying a fasces, an ax (meant for beheadings) surrounded by a bundle of rods (meant for whippings). Lictors were essentially "bodyguards" to the consuls.
Gemma Claudia, c. 49 AD, sardonyx cameo, now in Vienna. Left: Claudius and Agrip. the Younger. Right: Tiberius and Livia or Germanicus and Agrip. the Elder. A double cornucopia and and eagle gazing on the Emperor.