Tag: Quotations

Bread and Circuses

Cultural Offering’s Kurt Harden set me on an adventure in pursuit of bread and circuses, via this site, AmericanDigest.org.

The original phrase, panem et circenses, was coined by Roman poet, Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis, 1st – 2nd Century CE) in his Satire 10:

And what does the mob of Remus say? It follows fortune, as it always does, and rails against the condemned. That same rabble, if Nortia had smiled upon the Etruscan, if the aged Emperor had been struck down unawares, would in that very hour have conferred upon Sejanus the title of Augustus. Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things—Bread and Circuses!

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Echoes through time: I accord you the privilege

Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours.

Chief Joseph (1840 – 1904), Speech from 1876 rejecting demands to lead his people onto a reservation.

Image: Edward S. Curtis/Library of Congress

Echoes through time: the lure of popularity

You cannot hope to be a scholar. But what you can do is to curb arrogance; what you can do is to rise above pleasures and pains; you can be superior to the lure of popularity; you can keep your temper with the foolish and ungrateful, yes, even care for them.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 120 – 180), Meditations (8.8)

Photo by Gary Ellis on Unsplash