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panem et circenses

Latin, literally "bread and circuses," supposedly coined by Juvenal and describing the cynical formula of the Roman emperors for keeping the masses content with ample food and entertainment.

Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses [Juvenal, Sat. x.80].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for panem et circenses
Historical Examples
  • They had raised the old cry “panem et circenses” and, in the days of Gian Bellini, there was no lack of either.

    Bellini George Hay
  • panem et circenses; soup that shall not be too maigre; and a seat at the Porte St. Martin that shall not be too dear.

    The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
  • panem et circenses—Bread and the games of the circus (what the Roman plebs took sole interest in).

  • This is the new version of the panem et circenses of the Roman populace.

    Pages From an Old Volume of Life Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • At this moment the Roman decadent phase of panem et circenses is being inaugurated under our eyes.

    Man And Superman George Bernard Shaw
  • Provender was all: not panem et circenses—bread and theatrical shows—but simply bread, and that wretched of its kind.

  • The demand for 'panem et circenses' preferred by the Roman populace is recognized nowadays as a wholly reasonable one.

    Looking Backward Edward Bellamy
  • I'm sure that Grimes never studied Roman history, but he had arrived at the formula of panem et circenses.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • If an autocracy does not rest on the army, which leads to the chaos of praetorianism, it must rely on 'panem et circenses.'

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • panem et circenses were all the old Roman populace had cared for.

    The Makers of Modern Rome Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant

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