bread and circuses


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bread and circuses

pl.n.
Offerings, such as benefits or entertainments, intended to placate discontent or distract attention from a policy or situation.

[Translation of Latin pānem et circēnsēs, a phrase coined by the Roman poet Juvenal : pānem, accusative singular of pānis, bread + et, and + circēnsēs, circus games.]

bread′ and cir′cuses


n.pl.
something offered so as to pacify discontent or divert attention from a grievance.
[translation of Latin pānis et circēnsēs; from a remark by Juvenal on the limited desires of the Roman populace]
References in periodicals archive ?
Roman poet Juvenal used the phrase 'bread and circuses' to describe how the republic's elite used free food and games, mostly gladiator sport in the Colosseum, to keep people distracted when the going got tough.
If that happens, then all this talk and activity, which engages the attention of our highly political culture, is just the Roman version of organized distraction: bread and circuses.
This would be analogous to our assuming that bread and circuses are perfect substitutes, which we do not.
The man behind a string of acclaimed stand-up touring shows, such as The Laughter Master and Welcome To My World, is also an actor of some repute having appeared in everything from a West End production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest to EastEnders, and he's now taking his latest thought-provoking show, Bread And Circuses, around the country.
0121 345 0600 comedy Stephen K Amos With the world seemingly intent on lurching from one crisis to another, Stephen aims to shine a funny light into our lives with his latest thought provoking show, Bread And Circuses. Today, The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham.
Could it be that the Grand National is now a glorified hurdle race while the real showpiece is the bread and circuses fashion stakes with 'Queen Coleen' leading the 'massive effort' of the two-legged entrants!
Surely we must stop the apparent decline and fall of the British Empire into bread and circuses, Big Brother and soccer to have a country left worth defending.
His topics are death on the Nile, growing up in Rome and Spain, starting out, war and peace, rebuilding Rome, the sunny pleasure dome and the ice caves in his villa, bread and circuses to keep the people happy, the journeys, Hadrian and Athens, Antinous, Christians and Jews, and the end.
They are not the same as the thrill-hungry mob like those who loved the bread and circuses in the Coliseum.
The plutocrat rulers of Rome diverted the plebs' thoughts on their day-to-day misery and fears of forthcoming disasters by providing when it's so bread and circuses, a handy way to keep them in a state of bovine bliss and off the streets.
Bread and circuses were still the most popular ways of pleasing the citizens of Rome.