Wordsmith.org

"Give them bread and circuses"

Posted By: 2YsUR

"Give them bread and circuses" - 06/26/01 01:03 AM

I’m trying to find the origin of the quote “Give them bread and circuses”. It was mentioned to me in relation to reality TV, but I’d like to find its original context (apart from the obvious Marie Antoinette)

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - 06/26/01 01:27 AM

it comes from Latin, Duas tantum res anxius optat, Panem et circenses, as written by the Roman satirist Juvenal.

Posted By: 2YsUR

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - 06/26/01 01:52 AM

Thanks tsuwm! I think I've just found the pitch for my article on reality TV.

So what does tsuwm mean? (I'm an ignorant beginner!)

Posted By: Bingley

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - 06/26/01 04:55 AM

Roughly speaking, "He anxiously chooses those two great matters, bread and circuses."

Bingley
Posted By: emanuela

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - a punctilio - 06/26/01 07:22 PM

If circuses is the plural of circus, I have to add that the translation is a bit incorrect, becauses circenses does not mean "circuses", but "people fighting - or whatever - in the circuses".

Posted By: tsuwm

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - a punctilio - 06/26/01 07:28 PM

I have seen it translated as "circus games".

Posted By: AnnaStrophic

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - a punctilio - 06/26/01 09:53 PM

I dunno... what we are about to see here could be a folk etymology in Portuguese:

pão e circo is a common expression to describe what the Brazilian government delivers to keep the little people happy.

Posted By: wow

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - 06/28/01 05:02 PM

(apart from the obvious Marie Antoinette)

I'm not too clear on your reference here ...

You do mean that a similar thing was allegedly said by Marie Antoinette when told the people had no bread : "Let 'em eat cake." Don'cha?
No offense, just checking!
Some years ago I read an apologia which posited there was a "cake" available at the time that was made with much cheaper ingredients than those necessary for bread so therefore more readily available ... the point being Marie A was not as cold as the remark would indicate.

Posted By: Indigosky

Re: "Give them bread and circuses" - 07/28/15 07:45 AM

Hi guys,

I had to react to your remarks about "Marie Antoinette".

The expression Marie Antoinette was unjustly accused of was "let them eat cake"
The revolutionists used this and many other things to discredit her reputation. Actually this was said a hundred years earlier by Marie-Therese, the wife of Louis XIV.
Posted By: A C Bowden

Re: Let them eat cake - 07/28/15 11:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Indigosky
The expression Marie Antoinette was unjustly accused of was "let them eat cake"

In French: Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!
© 2017 Wordsmith.org