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On the entertainment side of the policy there could be the danger that overambitious or egotistical emperors could organised extremely lavish or extravagant games which were too expensive and could be a burden on treasury.

Augustus capped private and public expenditure the gladiatorial games to save the Roman elite from the bankruptcy. He restricted them to two religious festivals and capped them a maximum 120 gladiators and a cost of 25,000 denarii. However, this did not stop some of the successive emperors form holding gigantic and extremely expansive games. For example, over 9,000 wild animals were killed during the games which inaugurated the Colosseum. Trajan celebrated his victories with games with 10,000 gladiators and 11,000 animals over 123 days. Marcus Aurelius legislated a cap on expenditure as costs were spiralling out of control. However this had little effect.

One the bread side of the policy, the Roman state had to make sure that it had the money for the grain dole for the poor, who were given free grain.

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Offerings, such as benefits or entertainments, intended to placate discontent or distract attention from a policy or situation. :)

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Q: What were some possible negative consequences of following the policy '' bread and circuses''?
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