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A.Word.A.Day--pax romana

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Pax Romana (PAKS ro-MAH-nuh) noun

1. A peace imposed by a powerful state on a weaker or vanquished state.

2. An uneasy peace.

[From Latin, literally Roman peace. After the state of peace during the life of the Roman Empire.]

The idea of pax romana is vividly illustrated in "The Life of Gnaeus Julius Agricola" by Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus (translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb) when Calgacus, a Celtic chieftain, says, "To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace." -Anu

"In his book on globalism, `The Lexus and the Olive Tree,' Thomas L. Friedman argues that no two countries with McDonald's franchises have ever gone to war. The price of this supersized Pax Romana is, well, a McDonald's in every country." Rick Marin, The Least Likely Burning Man, The New York Times, Sep 10, 2000.

This week's theme: toponyms or words derived from place names.


There's nothing that keeps its youth, / So far as I know, but a tree and truth. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., poet, novelist, essayist, and physician (1809-1894)

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