Monday, March 23, 2009

Julius Pleaser

Beware The Ideas of March

A Cambridge academic has uncovered what is believed to be the world's oldest joke book. The third-century book of gags from the Roman Empire is written in Greek and entitled Philogelos, which translates as Laughter Lover. Professor Mary Beard says it debunks the popular myth that the Romans were "pompous, toga-wearing bridge builders".

FOOTNOTE: Gag order.

10 comments:

C. Michael Cox said...

I wonder if they have any knock-knock jokes...

Nessa said...

Anyone who has toga parties has got to love a joke.

Johnnny said...

Dear David McMahon, regarding how it all began... Since Romans were known for a short attention span, President Caesar decided to implement a new plan: Instead of publishing another Roman cook book, Let us bring forth happiness with a Roman joke book! He put his entire staff on a quest to produce a laugh; Anything from the smallest gaffe to the tallest giraffe. It started a rumor that the Romans had humor, All under the guise of trying to please the consumer. When the new Joke Book came out it was quite a pleaser, From the plebs to patricians, and even J. Caesar! From a simple idea to simply cause laughter, It worked in the present, and also the hereafter. It showed that the Roman could also be showmen, Instead of just wine and cheesing their abdomen. Humor about Caesar, however, would not be crimeless, But finding Philogelos shows that jokes can be timeless.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Reading the above, I'm not sure I can stop laughing long enough to comment...Love this...BTW,David, did you catch the recent funny American news? Apparently, narcotics agents were following a vehicle in a high speed chase on the California 805. When it became apparent that escape was impossible and capture inevitable, the dealers began disposing of the evidence...millions of drug dollars out the window at 55+/hour. Needless to say, brave Californians created a major traffic jam as they stopped to collect cash...a sign of the times? Or perhaps, Robin Hood "revisited?" Sharing the fun! Cheers!

Ananda girl said...

I had to go and read this story... my favorite joke she mentions is the variation on the Monty Python Parrot sketch. A buyer complains to the seller when the parrot dies right after he buys it and the seller says well... "He didn't die when I owned him." Talk about classic humor! ha.

Muthering Heights said...

How fun! It would be an interesting read...

introspection said...

I love the title of this post "Julius pleaser". You have a way with words, David. Who needs a greek joke book ?

Crystal Jigsaw said...

One of those "heard it before" books I imagine.

CJ xx

Maggie May said...

With your headers and titles.... we don't need a joke book!
I shall always remember Julius as we had to learn much of it by heart at school many moons ago!

Ideas of March!!!!!!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Who is this Julius Pleaser Geyser? What a teaser! Obviously a sneezer! Quick, put this Mary Beard in a freezer before she for ever changes history of the Roman Caesar.