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Thread: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

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    Default Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    It seems like every aspect of the ancient and more recent past is tackled and analyzed these days with the emphasis by modern "cultural" historians on looking at society from the bottom up, not the top down. Well, you can still glean a lot from the well-recorded actions and deeds of those who stood at the top of the social strata in previous times. I've recently discovered a wonderful link at janusquirinus.org that quotes the Roman writer Macrobius as he details various humorous episodes that allegedly transpired during the reign of Augustus. They show not only the latter's quick wit, but also a glimpse into what sort of humor tickled the Romans the most. It's not exactly the situational humor of Seinfeld, but it's the sort of stuff anyone today would still find fairly funny.

    http://janusquirinus.org/Octavian/humour.html



    A man who had been struck by a stone when on active service and had a noticeable and unsightly scar on his forehead, was bragging loudly of his exploits and received this gentle rebuke from Augustus: "Never look round when you are running away."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.7

    Once Augustus was informed that a tree was growing on the altar that had been built in his honour in Tarraco.* "This is incontestable proof," commented Augustus, "of how often you make sacrifices on the altar."

    - Quint. Inst. 6.3.77

    Once, Augustus was approached by Herennius, a young man of bad character who had committed an offense and was dismissed from the army. The officer asked Augustus, "How will I explain this to my father?" Augustus replied, "Tell your father that you didn't find me to your liking."

    - Quint. Inst. 6.3.64, Macrob. Sat. 2.4.6

    A certain Vettius had ploughed up a memorial to his father, whereupon Augustus remarked: "This is indeed cultivating your father's memory."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.10

    When he heard that Herod king of the Jews had ordered boys in Syria under the age of two years to be put to death and that the king's son was among those killed, he said: "I'd rather be Herod's pig than Herod's son."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.11

    Hearing of the enormous debts, amounting to more than twenty million sesterces, which a certain Roman eques had successfully concealed while he lived, he gave orders that the man's pillow should be bought for his personal use at the sale by auction of the estate. There were some raised eye-brows, but he explained: "The pillow must certainly be conducive to sleep, if that man in spite of all his debts could have slept on it."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.17

    As he went down from his residence on the Palatine, a seedy-looking Greek used to offer him a complimentary epigram. This the man did on many occasions without success, and Augustus, seeing him about to do it again, hastily scribbled a short epigram in Greek with his own hand and sent it to the fellow as he drew near, The Greek read it and praised it, expressing admiration both in words and by his looks. Then, coming up to the imperial chair, he put his hand in a shabby purse and drew out a few pence, to give them to the emperor, saying as he did so: "I swear by thy Good Fortune, Augustus, if I had more, I should give you more." There was laughter all round, and Augustus, summoning his steward, ordered him to pay out a hundred thousand sesterces to the Greek.

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.31

    He had a servant whose duty it was to tell him the names of the persons he met but the servant was forgetful; and so, when the servant asked him whether he had any orders for the Forum, he replied: "Yes, take these letters of introduction; for you know no one there."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.15

    Among those who welcomed Augustus on his return in state from his victory at Actium was a man with a raven which he had taught to say: "Greetings to Caesar, our victorious commander." Augustus was charmed by this compliment and gave the man twenty thousand sesterces for the bird. But the bird's trainer had a partner, and, when none of this large sum of money had come his way, he told the Emperor that the man had another raven and suggested that he should be made to produce it as well. The bird was produced and repeated the words which it had been taught to say: they were: "Greetings to Antony, our victorious commander." Augustus, however, instead of being at all angry, simply told the first man to share the money with his mate. He was greeted in a similar way by a parrot, and he ordered that bird to be bought and a magpie too, which he fancied for the same trick. These examples encouraged a poor cobbler to try to train a raven to repeat a like form of greeting, but the bird remained dumb, and the man ruined by the cost incurred, used often to say to it: "Nothing to show for the trouble and expense." One day, however, the raven began to repeat its lesson, and Augustus as he was passing heard the greeting. "I get enough of such greetings at home," he replied. But the bird also recalled the words of his master's customary lament and added: "Nothing to show for the trouble and expense." This made Augustus roar with laugh, and he ordered the bird to be bought giving more for it than he had given for any of the others.

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.29-30

    He often wrote in the Baths. Once, he had begun writing a tragedy entitled Ajax but, dissatisfied with it, had rubbed it out. And, when the tragedian Lucius Varius asked him afterward how his Ajax was getting on, he replied: "He has fallen on my sponge."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.2, Suet. Div Aug. 85

    He once had reason to complain that some cloth of Tyrian purple which he had ordered was too dark, "Hold it up higher," the tailor, "and look at it from below." This provoked the witty retort: "Have I to walk on my roof before people at Rome can say that I am well dressed?"

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.14

    To a man who was nervously presenting a petition to him, holding out his hand and now withdrawing it, he said: "Do you think you are handing a penny to an elephant?"

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.3

    To an ugly hunchback named Galba, who was pleading in Court before him and kept on saying: "If you have any fault to finds correct me," he said: "I can offer you advice, but I certainly can't correct you."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.8

    Since many of those who were prosecuted by Severus Cassius got off, but the architect of the Forum of Augustus kept putting off the completion of the work1 the emperor jestingly remarked: "I could wish that Cassius would prosecute my Forum too-and get it off my hands."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.9

    Again, knowing that his friend Maecenas wrote in a loose, effeminate, end languishing style, he would often affect a similar style in the letters which he wrote to him; and, in contrast to the restrained language of his other writings, an intimate letter to Maecenas contained, by way of a joke, a flood of such expressions as these: "Good-by, my ebony of Medullia, ivory from Etruria, silphium of Aretium diamond of the Adriatic, pearl from the Tiber, Cilnian emerald, jasper of the Iguvians, Porsenna's beryl, Italy's carbuncle-in short, you charmer of unfaithful wives."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.12

    The hair of Julia, Augustus' daughter, began to go gray at an early age, and she used secretly to pull the gray hairs out. One day her maids were surprised by the unexpected arrival of her father, who pretended not to see the gray hairs on her women's dresses ind talked for some time on other matters. Turning the conversation to the subject of age, he asked her whether she would prefer eventually to be gray or bald. She replied that for her part she would rather be gray. "Why, then," said her father, thus rebuking her deceit "are these women of yours in such a hurry to make you bald?"

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.5.7

    As a young man he neatly made fun of one Vatinius who had become crippled by gout but nevertheless wished it to be thought that he had got rid of the complaint. The man was boasting that he could walk a mile; "I can well believe it," said Augustus, "the days are getting somewhat longer."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.16

    A quip made by a man from one of the provinces is well known. In appearance he closely resembled the emperor, and on his coming to Rome the likeness attracted general attention. Augustus sent for the man and on seeing him said: "Tell me, young man, was your mother ever in Rome? "No," replied the other and, but could not resist adding: "But my father was-often."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.20

    During the triumvirate Augustus wrote some lampoons on Pollio, but Pollio only observed: "For my part I am saying nothing in reply; it's not easy to inscribe lines against a man who can proscribe.'

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.21

    A certain Curtius, a Roman knight given to good living, was dining with Augustus and, when a skinny thrush was placed before him, asked whether he might let it go (mittere), "Of course you may," said his host, Whereupon Curtius at once "let it go" and threw it out of the window.

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.22

    He hardly ever refused to accept hospitality; and, having been entertained to a very frugal and, so to speak, everyday dinner, he just murmured, as he was saying good-by after the poor unelaborated meal: 'I didn't think I was so close a friend of yours."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.13


    Please do share more humorous anecdotes, jokes, and events from this period.

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Augustus is also the first hipster his jokes are so hipsterish

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus


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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis - Pompeiian Graffiti

    Pretty solid advice
    “The nation that will insist upon drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking by cowards.”

    —Sir William Francis Butler

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Truly, Humanity never changes. Pompeiian Grafittis proves that point.
    I.2.20 (Bar/Brothel of Innulus and Papilio); 3932: Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up. Now it penetrates men’s behinds. Goodbye, wondrous femininity!


    II.7 (gladiator barracks); 8767: Floronius, privileged soldier of the 7th legion, was here. The women did not know of his presence. Only six women came to know, too few for such a stallion.


    III.5.1 (House of Pascius Hermes; left of the door); 7716: To the one defecating here. Beware of the curse. If you look down on this curse, may you have an angry Jupiter for an enemy


    III.5.3 (on the wall in the street); 8898: Theophilus, don’t perform oral sex on girls against the city wall like a dog.


    V.5 (just outside the Vesuvius gate); 6641: Defecator, may everything turn out okay so that you can leave this place


    VI.14.36 (Bar of Salvius); 3494: In one bar, a picture depicts two men playing dice. One shouts, “Six!” while his opponent holds up two fingers and says, “No, that’s not a ‘three’; it’s a ‘two’”. By the door of the bar, another picture shows a short man driving a group of men out. Above his head are the words, “Go on, get out of here! You have been fighting!”


    VI.14.37 (Wood-Working Shop of Potitus): 3498: What a lot of tricks you use to deceive, innkeeper. You sell water but drink unmixed wine


    VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1820: Chie, I hope your hemorrhoids rub together so much that they hurt worse than when they every have before!


    VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1880: Lucius Istacidius, I regard as a stranger anyone who doesn’t invite me to dinner.


    VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1882: The one who buggers a fire burns his penis


    VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1904: O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin.


    VIII.7.6 (Inn of the Muledrivers; left of the door); 4957: We have wet the bed, host. I confess we have done wrong. If you want to know why, there was no chamber pot


    IX.8.3 (House of the Centenary; in the atrium); 5213: My lusty son, with how many women have you had sexual relations?


    Herculaneum (bar/inn joined to the maritime baths); 10675: Two friends were here. While they were, they had bad service in every way from a guy named Epaphroditus. They threw him out and spent 105 and half sestertii most agreeably on whores.


    Herculaneum (bar/inn joined to the maritime baths); 10677: Apelles the chamberlain with Dexter, a slave of Caesar, ate here most agreeably and had a screw at the same time.


    Herculaneum (on the exterior wall of a house); 10619: Apollinaris, the doctor of the emperor Titus, defecated well here.
    And some really dirty ones from Martialis(well, Augustus long died that time, but whatever):

    The Mausoleum of Augustus
    Pour me a double measure, of Falernian, Callistus,
    and you Alcimus, melt over it summer snows,
    let my sleek hair be soaked with excess of perfume,
    my brow be wearied beneath the sewn-on rose.
    The Mausoleum tells us to live, that one nearby,
    it teaches us that the gods themselves can die.
    -Martial, Epi.5, 64

    "I felt a little ill and called Dr. Symmachus.Well, you came, Symmachus, but you brought 100 medical students with you.
    One hundred ice-cold hands poked and jabbed me.
    I didn't have a fever, Symmachus, when I called you –but now I do.
    -Martial, Epi.5,9

    "Rumor tells, Chiona, that you are a virgin,
    and that nothing is purer than your fleshy delights.
    Nevertheless, you do not bathe with the correct part covered:
    if you have the decency, move your panties onto your face."
    -Martial, Epi.3,87

    "'You are a frank man', you are always telling me, Cerylus.
    Anyone who speaks against you, Cerylus, is a frank man."
    -Martial, Epi.1,67

    "Eat lettuce and soft apples eat:
    For you, Phoebus, have the harsh face of a defecating man."
    -Martial, Epi.3,89

    With your giant nose and cock
    I bet you can with ease
    When you get excited
    check the end for cheese.
    -Martial, Epi.4, 36

    Caecilianus,
    There wasn't a guy in this whole damn city
    Who would have touched your old lady without a stud fee
    When she was easily available.
    But now, with all those chaperones you've hired,
    There's a pack of cocksmen waiting to bang her.
    You sure are clever.
    -Martial, Epi.1,73


    Ponticus, you only your fist.
    That complaisant left hand is your sole mistress.
    No big deal, you say?
    Believe me pal, it's a major crime--
    More than you can imagine.
    Horatius ed just once, and sired three sons;
    Mars did the same, and Ilia bore twins.
    If either guy had jerked off in his hand,
    Down the drain with natural increase!
    Mother Nature is displeased. She chides you:
    "The sticky stuff that's dripping from your fingers
    Is a human being, Ponticus."
    -Martial, Epi.9,41

    Instantius Rufus, go ahead and read
    Those depraved pornographics of Musaeus,
    The ones that are filthier
    Than the Sybaritic sex manuals.
    Read those hot and salty pages.
    Just be sure your girlfriend's with you
    So that Mrs. Fist and her five lusty daughters
    Aren't your sole bridal party,
    And you become a husband-plug
    Without a wife-socket.
    -Martial, Epi.11,95

    You ask what I see in my farm near Nomentum, Linus?
    What I see in it, Linus, is: from there I can’t see you.
    -Martial, Epi.2,32

    You say pretty girls burn with love for you, Sextus,
    with your face too, like a man swimming underwater.
    -Martial, Epi.2, 87

    Only you have land, then, Candidus,
    Gold plate, cash, and porcelain, only you,
    Massic or Caecuban wine of famous vintage,
    only you judgement and wit, only you.
    You have it all – well say I don’t deny it –
    But everyone has your wife, along with you.
    -Martial, Epi.3, 26

    Chloe, I could live without your face,
    without your neck, and hands, and legs
    without your breasts, and ass, and hips,
    and Chloe, not to labour over details,
    I could live without the whole of you.
    -Martial, Epi.3, 53

    Aulus, atrocious tragedy’s struck my girl;
    she’s lost her plaything and her fond delight:
    not such as Catullus’ tender mistress wept for
    his Lesbia, bereft of worthless sparrow,
    nor, sung by Stella, his Ianthis grieves for,
    whose black dove wings it through Elysium:
    She’s not won by such loves, such nonsense,
    mea lux: they don’t stir my lady’s heart:
    she’s lost a slave boy hardly twelve years old,
    his member not yet eighteen inches long.
    -Martial, Epi.7,14

    You do Germans, and Parthians, and Dacians, Caelia,
    you don’t scorn Cappadocian, Cilician beds;
    and ers from Memphis, that Pharian city,
    and Red Sea’s black Indians sail towards you.
    You’d not flee the thighs of a circumcised Jew,
    not an Alan goes by, with Sarmatian horse too.
    What’s the reason, then, since you are a Roman,
    not one Roman member pleases you, woman?
    -Martial, Epi.7,30

    That dish you’d send to me on Saturn’s day,
    you send to your mistress now, Sextilianus:
    that green outfit you gave her on the Kalends,
    those called after Mars, that my toga’s paid for.
    Your girls begin to cost you nothing now:
    Sextilianus, you’re ing with my gifts.
    -Martial, Epi.10, 29

    When you want to go visit a distant lover, for sure, now,
    Paula, you’ll not be telling that stupid husband of yours,
    ‘Caesar’s ordered me off to Alba tomorrow first thing,
    Caesar: Circeii.’ The age of such tricks has gone.
    Under Nerva’s rule it’s all right to be a Penelope:
    but those ‘needs’ of yours, your true nature, won’t let you.
    Bad girl, what can you do? Discover an ailing friend?
    Your husband would stick fast to his lady himself
    and go with you, if it were brother, mother, or father.
    So, my ingenious one, what ruse do you consider?
    Some other adulteress would say, for her nerves,
    she needed to take the waters at Sinuessa.
    You do better, Paula, when you want to go ing,
    you choose to tell that husband of yours the truth!
    -Martial, Epi.11,7

    Lesbia swears she’s never been ed for free.
    True. When she wants to be ed, she has to pay.
    -MArtial, Epi.11,62

    Leda tells her aged spouse she suffers from nerves,
    and cries that she absolutely has to be ed;
    but, with tears and moans, sighs nothing is worth that,
    and declares she’s reconciled to dying instead.
    He begs her, live, not lose her years of youth,
    and lets be done what he can’t do now himself.
    The female doctors leave, males take their place,
    her knees are raised. O weighty remedy!
    -Martial, Epi.11,71

    The tipsy flute-girl blows us with moistened cheeks:
    sometimes she blows just one, often both together.
    -Martial, Epi.14

    I had this really horny broad all night,
    A girl whose naughty tricks are unsurpassed.
    We did it in a thousand different ways.
    Tired of the same old thing, I asked that boyish thing.
    Before I finished speaking, she said Yes.
    Emboldened, I then blushed a bit, and laughed,
    And asked for a certain more wicked thing.
    The lusty wench agreed without a blink.


    Still, that girl was pure in my eyes, Aeschylus--
    But she won't be for you. To get the same,
    You'll have to grant a nasty stipulation.
    -MArtial, Epi.9,67

    Bassa, I never saw you hang with guys--
    Nobody whispered that you had a beau.
    Girls surrounded you at every turn;
    They did your errands, with no attendant males.

    And so, I guess I naturally assumed
    That you were what you seemed: a chaste Lucretia.
    But hell no. Why, you shameless little tramp,
    You were an active humper all the time.
    You improvised, by rubbing together,
    And using your unnatural lust
    To counterfeit the thrusting of a male.

    Unbelievable. You've managed to create
    A real conundrum, worthy of the Sphinx:
    Adultery where there isn't a man.
    -Martial, Epi.1, 90

    Munatius Gallus, of Sabine simplicity,
    in kindness of heart outdoing Epicurus,
    by your daughter’s eternal marriage torches,
    chaste Venus grant you preserve that fair tie:
    if foul envy claims by chance that verses
    tinted with green verdigris are mine,
    deny them, as you do, and contend
    that no-one who is read writes such things.
    This law my little books know how to keep:
    to spare the person, ah, but speak the vice.
    -Martial, Epi.10,33

    Rome praises, loves, and quotes my little books,
    I’m there in every pocket, every hand.
    See them blush, turn white, stunned, yawn, disgusted.
    I like it: now’s when my poems give me delight.
    -Martial, Epi.6,60

    Damn, His Epigrams are Hilarious - Even if extraordinarily vulgar...look at all of those wubs.

    Roma_Victrix, just like you said, "more recent past is tackled and analyzed these days with the emphasis by modern "cultural" historians on looking at society from the bottom up, not the top down."

    From These, We're looking upwards into The Bottoms of Romans.
    Last edited by weirdoascensor; January 13, 2014 at 04:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Quote Originally Posted by weirdoascensor View Post
    From These, We're looking upwards into The Bottoms of Romans.
    That, good sir, is the quote of the year, if not the decade.

    At the very least, it is my nominated quote of the month for TWC! Cheers and +1 rep. For that matter, cheers to Kitsunegari as well for bringing up the Pompeian graffiti!

    It gives a nice contrast to the more high brow humor of the imperial court that I presented in the first post.

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    There's a book coauthored by Harry Turtledove, "Household Gods," that's set in the 2nd century and includes a really entertaining recreation of the everyday lives of average Roman citizens (2nd century CE) including humor, sex, entertainment, etc.

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    I think that quote need some context, by adding some fragments of the preceding sentence to give more oomph; This is different from that "OOT, should be about Leashed Penis, Not Napoleon" Moderator Warning Quote.

    Try looking for Pripaeia - some of them are as vulgar.

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Aside from your average vulgar humor found in graffiti, apparently the Romans were keen to publish books on humor:

    Classic gags discovered in ancient Roman joke book

    Alison Flood
    theguardian.com, Friday 13 March 2009 11.42 GMT

    We may admire the satires of Horace and Lucilius, but the ancient Romans haven't hitherto been thought of as masters of the one-liner. This could be about to change, however, after the discovery of a classical joke book.

    Celebrated classics professor Mary Beard has brought to light a volume more than 1,600 years old, which she says shows the Romans not to be the "pompous, bridge-building toga wearers" they're often seen as, but rather a race ready to laugh at themselves.

    Written in Greek, Philogelos, or The Laughter Lover, dates to the third or fourth century AD, and contains some 260 jokes which Beard said are "very similar" to the jokes we have today, although peopled with different stereotypes – the "egghead", or absent-minded professor, is a particular figure of fun, along with the eunuch, and people with hernias or bad breath.

    "They're also poking fun at certain types of foreigners – people from Abdera, a city in Thrace, were very, very stupid, almost as stupid as [they thought] eggheads [were]," said Beard.

    An ancient version of Monty Python's dead parrot sketch sees a man buy a slave, who dies shortly afterwards. When he complains to the seller, he is told: "He didn't die when I owned him."

    Beard's favourite joke is a version of the Englishman, Irishman, Scotsman variety, with a barber, a bald man and an absent-minded professor taking a journey together. They have to camp overnight, so 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."

    "It's one of the better ones," said Beard. "It has a nice identity resonance ... A lot of the jokes play on the obviously quite problematic idea in Roman times of knowing who you are." Another "identity" joke sees a man meet an acquaintance and say "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".

    "Interestingly they are quite understandable to us, whereas reading Punch from the 19th century is completely baffling to me," said Beard.

    But she queried whether we are finding the same things funny as the Romans would have done. Telling a joke to one of her graduate classes, in which an absent-minded professor is asked by a friend to bring back two 15-year-old slave boys from his trip abroad, and replies "fine, and if I can't find two 15-year-olds I will bring you one 30-year-old," she found they "chortled no end".

    "They thought it was a sex joke, equivalent to someone being asked for two 30-year-old women, and being told okay, I'll bring you one 60-year-old. But I suspect it's a joke about numbers – are numbers real? If so two 15-year-olds should be like one 30-year-old – it's about the strange unnaturalness of the number system."

    Beard, who discovered the title while carrying out research for a new book she's working on about humour in the ancient world, pointed out that when we're told a joke, we make a huge effort to make it funny for ourselves, or it's an admission of failure. "Are we doing that to these Roman jokes? Were they actually laughing at something quite different?"

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    I urge you all to read Apolokyntosis. Best example of Roman humor and satire.
    Under the patronage of Squid Girl. I am here, click me!



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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    A quip made by a man from one of the provinces is well known. In appearance he closely resembled the emperor, and on his coming to Rome the likeness attracted general attention. Augustus sent for the man and on seeing him said: "Tell me, young man, was your mother ever in Rome? "No," replied the other and, but could not resist adding: "But my father was-often."

    - Macrob. Sat. 2.4.20
    Would be interesting to know what became of the joker after this.....

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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Quote Originally Posted by The Reverend View Post
    Would be interesting to know what became of the joker after this.....
    Well, like the good Reverend Jim Jones, I'm sure Augustus had that little joker drink a potent brewed beverage for his own good, perhaps...a hemlock smoothie.

    "DIE WITH DIGNITY!" Is what Augustus probably said to him as well. Not exactly an act of revolutionary suicide, though. More along the lines of: "don't you be talkin' 'bout da emperor's motha like dat!"

    Augustus did have a funny bone, though, so in all likelihood he probably just laughed it off.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Quote Originally Posted by weirdoascensor View Post
    And some really dirty ones from Martialis(well, Augustus long died that time, but whatever):
    you forgot this one:

    Quod pectus, quod crura tibi, quod bracchia uellis,
    quod cincta est breuibus mentula tonsa pilis,
    hoc praestas, Labiene, tuae -- quis nescit? -- amicae.
    Cui praestas, culum quod, Labiene, pilas?

    When you shave your chest, you arms, your legs,
    And all the bushes around your cock,
    It's for your girlfriend, everybody knows, Labienus.
    But who's for, when you shave also your buttocks?

  14. #14
    Lord Oda Nobunaga's Avatar 大信皇帝
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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    I can see that Augustus, aside from distroting history also had some sense of humour. Especially if he has a baby stuck on his foot for some reason, the heck is that there for?

    "Famous general without peer in any age, most superior in valor and inspired by the Way of Heaven; since the provinces are now subject to your will it is certain that you will increasingly mount in victory." - Ōgimachi-tennō

  15. #15

    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Well, like the good Reverend Jim Jones, I'm sure Augustus had that little joker drink a potent brewed beverage for his own good, perhaps...a hemlock smoothie.

    "DIE WITH DIGNITY!" Is what Augustus probably said to him as well. Not exactly an act of revolutionary suicide, though. More along the lines of: "don't you be talkin' 'bout da emperor's motha like dat!"

    Augustus did have a funny bone, though, so in all likelihood he probably just laughed it off.
    Theres a story about how when Augustus attended a play, a Eunuch was beating a tambourine and said "see how this queens finger beats the orb"(in this case meaning governs the world). the whole crowd looked at the emperor, who simply got up and bowed.

    Please rep me for my posts, not for the fact that i have a Pony as an Avatar.


  16. #16
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Quote Originally Posted by TWWolfe View Post
    Theres a story about how when Augustus attended a play, a Eunuch was beating a tambourine and said "see how this queens finger beats the orb"(in this case meaning governs the world). the whole crowd looked at the emperor, who simply got up and bowed.
    Well, what's Augustus going to do, walk up to the stage and pimp slap the eunuch? Taking a bow in this case does seem like Augustus's style. As proven by his joint proscriptions drafted earlier with Mark Antony, he proved that he could be just as bloodthirsty and ruthless as the rest of them. However, during his unquestionable period of reign and in a time of settled peace I think he was free to relax and drop his more brutal measures to maintain control.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Do we know if Augustus' "I love traitors, but I cannot say anything good about treason" quote is authentic?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    No wonder why WRE collapsed , they all died from boredom.

  19. #19
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Oda Nobunaga View Post
    I can see that Augustus, aside from distroting history also had some sense of humour. Especially if he has a baby stuck on his foot for some reason, the heck is that there for?
    The statue is called the Augustus of Prima Porta, and I just recently read that the baby is actually the god Cupid riding a dolphin. The reason Cupid is involved here is because Venus was the mother of Cupid, and Julius Caesar's house associated itself with Venus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrucci View Post
    No wonder why WRE collapsed , they all died from boredom.
    Oh, snap! Burn! Do you feel that Romans? Do you feel that from beyond the grave? YOU JUST GOT SERVED!



    Alright, time to resurrect Augustus so he can defend his honor. Anyone know a necromancer around here?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Greco-Roman humor in the age of Augustus

    I expected more penis bonus pax in domus things.

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