Citizens Pomona has come and gone but in ancient Rome festival follows festival, it better had if the emperor wants to remain in power.  Not that I am disloyal at all it is just the game of Rome.   Men who can manage the mob gain power, wealth and authority – those who can’t end up in the Tiber.

The emperor manages the people of Rome using the famous bread and circus’.  The modern version would be dole payments and X factor, or football or couch potatoism.   The plebs of Rome needed circus’ because on the whole they did not have any work, one in three people in Italy were slaves whose unpaid labour made the rich even more money.  If they were allowed to just wander about by themselves they might start thinking about “reform” so the circus kept them entertained, distracted and obsessed.

Which left their appetite which was filled by a dole of bread for them to eat whilst they watched the entertainment.  Some would be patronised by the rich, expected to turn out rent a mob style to protest for his patrons interests.

The emperors task was to keep this system working.  The key problem being that Rome was no longer exporting goods, merely consuming.  The imperial system was based on this need.  The provinces were being taxed, grain and goods exported to Rome to feed the beast that the Caesers had created.

But we will think about that another day, until then citizen, watch the games, enjoy your bread stranger and ask no questions…

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