>Two Jokes from Ancient Rome

>Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Newnham College in Cambridge has discovered a book that is more than 1,600 years old, a book which she says contains many jokes told by ancient Romans.

The book, which was written in Greek, is called “Philogelos,” or “The Laughter Lover.” According to a news report published in the Guardian, the book “dates to the third or fourth century AD, and contains some 260 jokes.” According to Beard, the Roman jokes are similar to the jokes people tell today. According to the same report, Beard discovered “Philogelos” while she was doing research for a new book on humor in the ancient world.

The following are two jokes told by the ancient Romans.

The first joke:

A barber, a bald man and an absent-minded professor were taking a journey together. They have to camp overnight, so they decide to take turns watching the luggage. When it’s the barber’s turn, he gets bored, so amuses himself by shaving the head of the professor. When the professor is woken up for his shift, he feels his head, and says: “How stupid is that barber? He’s woken up the bald man instead of me.”

The second joke:

A man meets an acquaintance and says: “It’s funny, I was told you were dead.”. He says “well, you can see I’m still alive.” But the first man disputes this on the grounds that “the man who told me you were dead is much more reliable than you.”

Well, it seems that the Romans had a sense of humor after all.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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6 Responses to >Two Jokes from Ancient Rome

  1. Manuel Rojas says:

    >It’s funny 😉


  2. >Manuel,I think it is funny too.Claude Mariottini


  3. Mark says:

    >I love it! Thanks for sharing!


  4. >Mark,Humor is such a wonderful thing. I also enjoyed these two jokes because I thought they were funny.Claude Mariottini


  5. >At 7 AM, those two jokes were exactly what I needed to get my day going. Absolutely hilarious. And good to see that good humor is not an anachronism; funny knows no chronology.Shalom!


  6. >John,Everybody likes a good joke and it seems that even the Romans knew how to tell good jokes.Claude Mariottini


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