fiddle while Rome burns
To do something trivial and irresponsible in the midst of an emergency; legend has it that while a fire destroyed the city of Rome, the emperor Nero played his violin, thus revealing his total lack of concern for his people and his empire.
THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?
Words nearby fiddle while Rome burns
Example sentences from the Web for fiddle while Rome burns
ROME — What does it take for a Hollywood A-lister to get a private audience with Pope Francis?Pope Francis Has the Pleasure of Meeting Angelina Jolie for a Few Seconds|Barbie Latza Nadeau|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
His books include Render unto Rome and a novel about Louisiana politics, Last of the Red Hot Poppas.
Then he came to Rome last week with the flowers in his hand.
In Rome, he writes, the chicken “predicted the outcome of battles.”The History of the Chicken: How This Humble Bird Saved Humanity|William O’Connor|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The pontiff blasts the selfishness, arrogance and detachment of the cardinals in Rome.Pope Francis Denounces the Vatican Elite’s 'Spiritual Alzheimer’s'|Barbie Latza Nadeau|December 23, 2014|DAILY BEAST
After all, may not even John Burns be human; may not Mr. Chamberlain himself have a heart that can feel for another?God and my Neighbour|Robert Blatchford
Claude de Vert died; he devoted much attention to the ceremonies of the church of Rome, of which he wrote a history.
The collection in the Academy I thought much better, but still far enough behind similar galleries in Rome.
Insurrectionary movements at Rome in consequence of the pope's refusal to declare war against Austria.
I do not think such pictures as abound in Rome could have been painted where the women were common-place and unideal.
Idioms and Phrases with 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]