hosted by the ever gracious Rochelle at

15 September 2017




PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight

By Neel Anil Panicker

Aurelian’s chest swelled with pride under the toga, the silk damasks, the translucent gauzes, the gold clothing in Tyrian purple dyes.

The Roman Emperor’s sartorial flair in full glare.

Restitutor Orbis (Restorer of the World)…Dominus et Deus (Master and God).

He had the hoi poloi eating out of his hands.

The ‘bread and circuses’ that he was throwing at them were proving their weight in gold; ravenously lapped up the plebeians still unschooled about the machinations of the elite.

No need to shed blood. Or, fire a bullet.

Throw them crumbs and they ‘re yours.

He couldn’t thank  Apollonius enough.

©neelanilpanicjer2017 #FF #historical fiction #100words  


Aurelian (LatinLucius Domitius Aurelianus Augustus;[1][2] 9 September 214 or 215 – September or October 275) was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. Born in humble circumstavlnces, he rose through the military ranks to become emperor. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the GothsVandalsJuthungiSarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire’s eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, and the abandonment of the province of Dacia.

His successes were instrumental in ending the Roman Empire’s Crisis of the Third Century, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis or ‘Restorer of the World’. Although Domitian was the first emperor who had demanded to be officially hailed as dominus et deus (master and god), these titles never occurred in written form on official documents until the reign of Aurelian.


Bread and circuses” (or bread and games; from Latinpanem et circenses) is metonymic for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the generation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace,[1] as an offered “palliative“. Its originator, Juvenal, used the phrase to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns.[2][3][4] The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the commoner.

33 thoughts on “neelwrites/god,giveusourdailybread/FF/historicalfiction/100words/13/09/2017

  1. Sadly, bread and circuses still work today

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, very sadly they do. Thanks Neil

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Neel,

    Wow! You captured Aurelian’s arrogance and sense of entitlement. Unique and clever use of the prompt. Applause!



    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for such heartwarming appreciation. You and your stories are a great inspiration, dear Rochelle.


  3. Ancient Rome is such a rich vein for great stories and characters. Nicely done Neel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a good place to mine for historical fiction is ancient Rome. Thanks a lot, Kelly.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. gahlearner

    What a great use of the prompt, timely, too, and great historical fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A classic take that is still relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, the things that we see today are extensions of the past, only magnified manifold. Thanks YS.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. Thanks for that little bit of history. And here I was imagining that ‘bread and circuses’ was conceived by the politicians of my state!
    Great story and great take.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A bullet? You’re apparently thinking of a latter-day “Emperor”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You read that well, James, and your guess is as good as mine.


  8. Mike

    Hi Neel, interesting use of history. [For me] it read it better without the last three lines. [but thats just me]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. Sometimes you just have to read between the lines, or simply add them up. Thanks Mike.


  9. Beautifully drawn word picture. Some things never change, do they?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No. The more things change they remain the same. Thanks for the compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A political commentary which is just as relevant today. Nicely done, Neel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It strikes a resonance with todays’ times. Thanks Sandra.


  11. Another interesting scene from history. An ignorant but well fed populace bodes well for the authority of the emperor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Engage them so that they become disengaged seems to be the motto. Thanks Christine.


  12. Moon

    Brilliant, Neel, simply brilliant.
    Heard the word ‘ plebeian’ for the first time since my reading of the French Revolution. I would think the great political heads of our times are still drawing lessons from Aurelian .
    Very rich story .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. History tends to repeat history. Our leaders world over just seem to be taking a leaf out of the books of their ‘illustrious’ predecessors. Thanks for the fulsome praise, Moon.


  13. Bread and circuses indeed. As others have said, this form of governance works as well today as it did 2,000 years ago. The mention of bullets jarred with me, just because my mind was in the Roman era, though I assume this was a reference to the relevance of the maxim? Nice tale Neel


  14. Good one! You have perfectly portrayed the conditions of those times!


  15. A delightfully different take on the prompt, Neel. Well done.


  16. Very artfully written, Neel. Things haven’t changed one bit, have they?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Dale

    Absolutely brilliant, Neel! One of your best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot, Dale. That keeps me inspired.


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