Sic transit gloria mundi

Another thing worth seeing but maybe not worth going to see is the Circus Maximus. This was Rome’s racetrack and carnival grounds where famously the authorities bribed the mob with bread and circuses. It was a big deal back then, a field now.

My old colleague Bogdan in Poland gave me insights into the bread and circuses thing. He explained that under communism the authorities would create artificial shortages of things people wanted, like sausage. Then they would hold a big event where these things would be available, ensuring a big crowd to support whatever they were sponsoring.

Bogdan was a man I greatly respected. He was my driver in Krakow. That is not a status job, but he took it so seriously. He was the best driver he could be and you have to respect a man who respects what he does. The only drawback is that I probably talked to Bogdan more than anyone else in Poland, since we were often on the road. My better educated colleagues sometimes complained that my Polish has a sort of peasant quality, not doubt from Bogdan. But people – usually – knew what I meant.

On second thought, the Circus Maximus is worth going to see if only to see how things important in the past can sink, sort of the Ozymandias quality. Or maybe – still in the poetic mind-set – the Sandburg poem “Grass.” Consider all the blood, sweat and tears shed at this place, now just a grassy field.

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