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Roman Humor

A recent book review brought to mind a clever ancient joke, mentioned in Frank Muir's introduction to the 1990 Oxford Book of Humorous Prose (a hilarious anthology misplaced around the house here many years ago). The joke dates back to the early Roman Empire and is told ca. 400 AD. Loosely translated:

In Cæsar Augustus's time a man from one of the provinces was visiting Rome. He looked a lot like Augustus, and so attracted considerable attention. The Emperor sent for him and asked, "Young fellow, was your mother ever in Rome?"

"No," the man replied, "but my father often was!"

(from The Saturnalia (II.iv.20) by Macrobius [1], [2]; cf. So Funny (1999-08-10), DesertTest (2002-09-04), DalaiLamaBirthdayGift (2004-08-24), ...)

^z - 2008-07-03


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