Rome


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Related to Rome: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome

all roads lead to Rome

The same outcome can be reached by many methods or ideas. This phrase refers to the road system of the Roman Empire, in which Rome was positioned in the center, with every road attached to it. All roads lead to Rome, so you can approach the puzzle any way you like, as long as you solve it.
See also: all, lead, road, Rome

Rome wasn't built in a day

Major undertakings are not completed all at once. A: "I've been working on my thesis all day and only wrote three pages." B: "Well, Rome wasn't built in a day."
See also: built, Rome

when in Rome (do as the Romans do)

One should do what is customary or typical in a particular place or setting, especially when one is a tourist. I know you don't normally get relish on your hot dog, but that's the thing here. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. I don't love cotton candy, but we are at a carnival. When in Rome, right?
See also: Roman, Rome

fiddle while Rome burns

To take little to no productive action during a crisis. The phrase refers to the legend of the Roman Emperor Nero playing the lyre as Rome burned down. Organizing these files is like fiddling while Rome burns—the boss won't care what they look like when he finds out we lost that big client! Climate change is upon us, and our leaders just fiddle while Rome burns.
See also: burn, fiddle, Rome, while

All roads lead to Rome.

Prov. There are many different routes to the same goal. Mary was criticizing the way that Jane was planting the flowers. John said, "Never mind, Mary, all roads lead to Rome." Some people learn by doing. Others have to be taught. In the long run, all roads lead to Rome.
See also: all, lead, road, Rome

fiddle while Rome burns

Fig. to do nothing or something trivial while knowing that something disastrous is happening. (From a legend that the Roman emperor Nero played the lyre while Rome was burning.) The lobbyists don't seem to be doing anything to stop this tax bill. They're fiddling while Rome burns.
See also: burn, fiddle, Rome, while

Rome was not built in a day.

Prov. It takes a lot of time to achieve something important. Professor: When will you finish your research project? Student: It'll take me a while. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.
See also: built, not, Rome

When in Rome(, do as the Romans do).

Prov. Behave however the people around you behave. Adapt yourself to the customs of the places you visit. Jill: Everyone in my new office dresses so casually. Should I dress that way, too? Jane: By all means. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
See also: Rome

all roads lead to Rome

Many different methods will produce the same result. For example, So long as you meet the deadline, I don't care how much help you get-all roads lead to Rome . Based on the fact that the Roman Empire's excellent road system radiated from the capital like the spokes of a wheel, this metaphor was already being used in the 1100s.
See also: all, lead, road, Rome

fiddle while Rome burns

Occupy oneself with unimportant matters and neglect important ones during a crisis. For example, The account was falling through, but he was more worried about missing his golf game-talk about fiddling while Rome burns! This expression alludes to the legend that the Emperor Nero played his fiddle while watching the conflagration of Rome. [Mid-1600s]
See also: burn, fiddle, Rome, while

Rome wasn't built in a day

Important work takes time. This expression functions as an injunction or plea for someone to be patient. For example, You can't expect her to finish this project in the time allotted; Rome wasn't built in a day . This phrase was a French proverb in the late 1100s but was not recorded in English until 1545.
See also: built, Rome

when in Rome do as the Romans do

Follow local custom, as in Kate said they'd all be wearing shorts or blue jeans to the outdoor wedding, so when in Rome-we'll do the same . This advice allegedly was Saint Ambrose's answer to Saint Augustine when asked whether they should fast on Saturday as Romans did, or not, as in Milan. It appeared in English by about 1530 and remains so well known that it is often shortened, as in the example.
See also: Roman, Rome

fiddle while Rome burns

If someone fiddles while Rome burns, they do nothing or spend their time on unimportant things when they have very serious issues or problems to deal with. The Australian community understands the seriousness of the situation. It is the Federal Government that has been fiddling while Rome burns. Note: This expression is very variable. For example, people sometimes replace `Rome' with a different place name or other noun so that this expression is more relevant to the subject they are talking about. People talk about educational reform but while the politicians fiddle, Los Angeles and Chicago are burning and these kids' educational opportunities are going down in flames as well. Note: There is a story that the Emperor Nero set fire to Rome, and then played his lyre and sang as he watched the flames. Afterwards he denied this and blamed the Christians for the destruction.
See also: burn, fiddle, Rome, while

Rome was not built in a day

People say Rome was not built in a day to point out that it takes a long time to do a task properly, and you should not rush it or expect to do it quickly. Only two people I interviewed were charitable about the new government. `Rome wasn't built in a day,' one man said `Let's give them more time.' These things take time. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know.
See also: built, not, Rome

when in Rome

You say when in Rome to mean that people should follow the behaviour and habits of the people they are visiting. Everyone else seemed to be wearing these hats so I thought, when in Rome, and bought one for myself. Note: People also use the complete expression when in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Eat late and stay up late — it doesn't make sense not to. Note: This was probably first used by St Ambrose (died 397 AD) in answer to a question about whether religious fasting should take place on the day set aside in Milan or the day used in Rome.
See also: Rome

fiddle while Rome burns

be concerned with relatively trivial matters while ignoring the serious or disastrous events going on around you.
This phrase comes from the Roman biographer and historian Suetonius' description of the behaviour of the Roman emperor Nero during the great fire that destroyed much of Rome in ad 64.
See also: burn, fiddle, Rome, while

all roads lead to Rome

there are many different ways of reaching the same goal or conclusion.
This is an ancient saying which was based on the fact that Rome was the point of convergence of all the main roads of the Roman empire, and after that of the medieval pilgrimage routes through Europe. It can be compared with the medieval Latin phrase mille vie ducunt hominem per secula Romam , meaning ‘a thousand roads lead a man forever towards Rome’.
See also: all, lead, road, Rome

Rome was not built in a day

a complex or ambitious task is bound to take a long time and should not be rushed.
This warning against rashness and impatience has been current in English since the mid 16th century.
See also: built, not, Rome

when in Rome (do as the Romans do)

when abroad or in an unfamiliar environment you should adopt the customs or behaviour of those around you.
This proverbial expression may ultimately derive from St Ambrose of Milan ( 397 ), who is quoted in one of St Augustine's letters as saying that when he was in Rome he fasted as they did there, on a Saturday, although when he was in Milan he did not do this. A medieval Latin saying expresses the idea as si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi , ‘if you are at Rome, live in the Roman manner; if elsewhere, live as they do there’.
1998 Pat Chapman 1999 Good Curry Guide Cutlery is still for wimps (though you no longer have to ask for it). But when in Rome, eat the correct way, please, using a piece of Roti to scoop up your curry, in your right hand only.
See also: Rome

ˌfiddle while Rome ˈburns

(saying) do nothing or waste your time when you should be dealing with a dangerous or serious situation: With the world’s population growing fast and millions getting hungrier every day, the leaders of the rich nations just seem to be fiddling while Rome burns.This phrase refers to the Roman emperor Nero, who fiddled (= played the violin) during the burning of Rome in AD 64.
See also: burn, fiddle, Rome, while

Rome wasn’t built in a ˈday

(saying) it takes time, patience, and hard work to do a difficult or important job: She asked me why the report wasn’t finished yet so I reminded her that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
See also: built, Rome

when in ˈRome (do as the ˈRomans do)

(saying) follow the example of other people and act as they do, especially if you are a stranger or new to a place or situation: I don’t take cabs usually but it seemed to be what everyone did in the city; so I thought ‘when in Rome...’
See also: Rome

all roads lead to Rome

Any of several choices will lead to the same result. The metaphor is based on the ancient empire’s system of roads, which radiated from the capital like the spokes of a wheel. As a figure of speech it appeared as early as the twelfth century. It was used by Chaucer, and occurs in numerous other languages as well.
See also: all, lead, road, Rome

fiddle while Rome burns, to

To busy oneself with trivial matters during a crisis. The expression comes from the legend that during the burning of Rome (a.d. 64), the Emperor Nero played his lyre while watching the spectacle from a high tower. Indeed, the historian Suetonius alleged that Nero had ordered the fire set in order to see how Troy had looked when it burned. The expression was probably already a cliché by the time Charles Kingsley wrote in Westward Ho! (1855), “It is fiddling while Rome burns to spend more pages over . . . Rose Saltenere, while the destinies of Europe are hanging on the marriage between Elizabeth and Anjou.”
See also: fiddle, Rome, while

Rome was not built in a day

Be patient; major achievements take time. This expression was already a proverb in the late twelfth century, and then appeared in two famous English proverb collections of the sixteenth century, Richard Taverner’s (1539) and John Heywood’s (1546). The saying is still current.
See also: built, not, Rome

when in Rome do as the Romans do

Follow the local customs. This old proverb supposedly comes from St. Ambrose’s answer to St. Monica and her son, St. Augustine, who asked whether they should fast on Saturday as the Romans do, or not, according to Milanese practice. Ambrose replied, “When I am here (in Milan) I do not fast Saturday, when I am in Rome, I fast on Saturday.” This Latin saying was translated into English by the fifteenth century or so and has been repeated ever since.
See also: Roman, Rome
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