Search results for: laughter-in-ancient-rome

Laughter in Ancient Rome

Author : Mary Beard
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What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear—a world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena? Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing—from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book—Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient “monkey business” to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really “get” the Romans’ jokes?

Looking at Laughter

Author : John R. Clarke
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In this fresh, accessible, and beautifully illustrated book, his third to examine an aspect of Roman visual culture, John R. Clarke explores the question, "What made Romans laugh?" Looking at Laughter examines a heterogeneous corpus of visual material, from the crudely obscene to the exquisitely sophisticated and from the playful to the deadly serious—everything from street theater to erudite paintings parodying the emperor. Nine chapters, organized under the rubrics of Visual Humor, Social Humor, and Sexual Humor, analyze a wide range of visual art, including wall painting, sculpture, mosaics, and ceramics. Archaeological sites, as well as a range of ancient texts, inscriptions, and graffiti, provide the background for understanding the how and why of humorous imagery. This entertaining study offers fascinating insights into the mentality of Roman patrons and viewers who enjoyed laughing at the gods, the powers-that-be, and themselves.

Kant s Humorous Writings

Author : Robert R. Clewis
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While Kant is commonly regarded as one of the most austere philosophers of all time, this book provides quite a different perspective of the founder of transcendental philosophy. Kant is often thought of as being boring, methodical, and humorless. Yet the thirty jokes and anecdotes collected and illustrated here for the first time reveal a man and a thinker who was deeply interested in how humor and laughter shape how we think, feel, and communicate with fellow human beings. In addition to a foreword on Kant's theory of humor by Noël Carroll as well as Clewis's informative chapters, Kant's Humorous Writings contains new translations of Kant's jokes, quips, and anecdotes. Each of the thirty excerpts is illustrated and supplemented by historical commentaries which explain their significance.

Writing on the Wall

Author : Karen B. Stern
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What ancient graffiti reveals about the everyday lives of Jews in the Greek and Roman world Few direct clues exist to the everyday lives and beliefs of ordinary Jews in antiquity. Prevailing perspectives on ancient Jewish life have been shaped largely by the voices of intellectual and social elites, preserved in the writings of Philo and Josephus and the rabbinic texts of the Mishnah and Talmud. Commissioned art, architecture, and formal inscriptions displayed on tombs and synagogues equally reflect the sensibilities of their influential patrons. The perspectives and sentiments of nonelite Jews, by contrast, have mostly disappeared from the historical record. Focusing on these forgotten Jews of antiquity, Writing on the Wall takes an unprecedented look at the vernacular inscriptions and drawings they left behind and sheds new light on the richness of their quotidian lives. Just like their neighbors throughout the eastern and southern Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, Arabia, and Egypt, ancient Jews scribbled and drew graffiti everyplace--in and around markets, hippodromes, theaters, pagan temples, open cliffs, sanctuaries, and even inside burial caves and synagogues. Karen Stern reveals what these markings tell us about the men and women who made them, people whose lives, beliefs, and behaviors eluded commemoration in grand literary and architectural works. Making compelling analogies with modern graffiti practices, she documents the overlooked connections between Jews and their neighbors, showing how popular Jewish practices of prayer, mortuary commemoration, commerce, and civic engagement regularly crossed ethnic and religious boundaries. Illustrated throughout with examples of ancient graffiti, Writing on the Wall provides a tantalizingly intimate glimpse into the cultural worlds of forgotten populations living at the crossroads of Judaism, Christianity, paganism, and earliest Islam.

The History of the Administration of the Right Honorable Frederick Temple Earl of Dufferin Late Governor General of Canada

Author : William Leggo
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FR-RARE-BK (copy 4): From the John Holmes Library collection.

Controlling Laughter

Author : Anthony Corbeill
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Although numerous scholars have studied Late Republican humor, this is the first book to examine its social and political context. Anthony Corbeill maintains that political abuse exercised real powers of persuasion over Roman audiences and he demonstrates how public humor both creates and enforces a society's norms. Previous scholarship has offered two explanations for why abusive language proliferated in Roman oratory. The first asserts that public rhetoric, filled with extravagant lies, was unconstrained by strictures of propriety. The second contends that invective represents an artifice borrowed from the Greeks. After a fresh reading of all extant literary works from the period, Corbeill concludes that the topics exploited in political invective arise from biases already present in Roman society. The author assesses evidence outside political discourse--from prayer ritual to philosophical speculation to physiognomic texts--in order to locate independently the biases in Roman society that enabled an orator's jokes to persuade. Within each instance of abusive humor--a name pun, for example, or the mockery of a physical deformity--resided values and preconceptions that were essential to the way a Roman citizen of the Late Republic defined himself in relation to his community. Originally published in 1996. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Sexual Life in Ancient Rome

Author : Otto Kiefer
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Canada Under the Administration of the Earl of Dufferin

Author : George Stewart
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Canada Under the Administration of the Earl of Dufferin

Author : George Stewart (of Toronto.)
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Sexing the World

Author : Anthony Corbeill
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From the moment a child in ancient Rome began to speak Latin, the surrounding world became populated with objects possessing grammatical gender—masculine eyes (oculi), feminine trees (arbores), neuter bodies (corpora). Sexing the World surveys the many ways in which grammatical gender enabled Latin speakers to organize aspects of their society into sexual categories, and how this identification of grammatical gender with biological sex affected Roman perceptions of Latin poetry, divine power, and the human hermaphrodite. Beginning with the ancient grammarians, Anthony Corbeill examines how these scholars used the gender of nouns to identify the sex of the object being signified, regardless of whether that object was animate or inanimate. This informed the Roman poets who, for a time, changed at whim the grammatical gender for words as seemingly lifeless as "dust" (pulvis) or "tree bark" (cortex). Corbeill then applies the idea of fluid grammatical gender to the basic tenets of Roman religion and state politics. He looks at how the ancients tended to construct Rome's earliest divinities as related male and female pairs, a tendency that waned in later periods. An analogous change characterized the dual-sexed hermaphrodite, whose sacred and political significance declined as the republican government became an autocracy. Throughout, Corbeill shows that the fluid boundaries of sex and gender became increasingly fixed into opposing and exclusive categories. Sexing the World contributes to our understanding of the power of language to shape human perception.