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dec•a•dence(ˈdɛk ə dəns, dɪˈkeɪd ns)
also dec•a•den•cy(ˈdɛk ə dən si, dɪˈkeɪd n-)
bread and circuses Free food and entertainment, particularly that which a government provides in order to appease the common people. Such is reputed to bring about a civilization’s decline by undermining the initiative of the populace, and the term has come to mean collective degeneration or debauchery. According to Juvenal’s Satires, panem et circenses were the two things most coveted by the Roman people. Bread and Circuses was the title of a book by H. P. Eden (1914). Rudyard Kipling used the expression in Debits and Credits (1924):
Rome has always debauched her beloved Provincia with bread and circuses.
the primrose path The route of pleasure and decadence; a frivolous, self-indulgent life. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth the drunken porter, playing at being the tender of Hell gate, says:
I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. (II, iii)
The expression connotes a colorful, blossomy course of luxury and ease, but as commonly used also includes the implication that such a carefree, self-gratifying life cannot be enjoyed without paying a price.
Never to sell his soul by travelling the primrose path to wealth and distinction. (James A. Froude, Thomas Carlyle, 1882)
wine and roses Wanton decadence and luxury; indulgence in pleasure and promiscuity; la dolce vita. This expression, often extended to days of wine and roses, alludes to the opulence as well as the depravity of the primrose path. The longer expression was popularized by an early 1960s film and song so entitled.
|Noun||1.||decadence - the state of being degenerate in mental or moral qualities|