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15 September 2017
GOD, GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD
(GENRE: HISTORICAL FICTION)
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 (Latin: Lucius Domitius Aurelianus Augustus; 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 Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, 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
“Bread and circuses” (or bread and games; from Latin: panem 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, as an offered “palliative“. Its originator, Juvenal, used the phrase to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the commoner.