Well there is a thread going around concerning humorous bits in ancient texts so I thought I would share some of my favorites.

1. Ovid, The Art of Love. 

Looking for a handbook on how to pick up women?  Well look no further.  There are many humorous/useful tips such as how to pick up women at sporting events.  Ovid suggests that, if there is a speck of dust on the lap of a woman sitting next to you brush it off and if there is not a speck of dust on her lap, brush it off anyway!  Also, make sure you ask a lady what team she is rooting for first then claim you are rooting for the same team.  Ovid includes many other fine tips for any bachelors or bachelorettes who read my blog.

2. Josephus, The War, 2.224

Josephus recount the following event which occurred during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. “One of the soldiers pulled up his garment and bent over indecently, turning his backside towards the Jews, and making a noise as indecent as his attitude. This infuriated the whole crowd …” (trans. G. A. Williamson, 144)

While I am not a large fan of the fair amount of vulgar humor in the ancient texts this one stands out for two reasons.  First, the image of a soldier farting on a crowd is quite the image indeed.  Second, this was recounted by a historian!  This is not from a comedy but from of our favorite Jewish historian.

I tag Brandon Wason, master of all things Greek and Latin to provide me his favorite humorous texts.

Advertisements