Bread and Circuses

Two thousand years ago, Juvenal characterized Roman society as needing only two things — bread and circuses.  For bread, there was the grain dole to all Roman citizens, and for circuses, the gladiator in the Coliseum and the chariot race in Circus Maximus (there were four teams to root for, identified by the colors of their jerseys, white, red, green, and blue).  American society isn’t all that different.  For food, we have our food stamps and welfare programs, and for circuses, we have televised professional sports where everyone has a home team to root for.  Has anything really changed?  Juvenal would be right at home in modern America.

“Bread and Circuses”

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One thought on “Bread and Circuses

  1. Henry

    You are overlooking nuances that exist within particular kinds of welfare programs, and food stamps are distributed to a variety of populations in need of assistance. Pascal: “Thought makes the whole dignity of man; therefore endeavor to think well, that is the only morality.”




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