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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Publication Date: 09/12/2013

Price: £1.99

ISBN: 9781782432425


About the Book

They say the old ones are the best, and this long-negelcted collection of jokes revived from the archives of Ancient Greece confirms that in some cases this is true, and in others it really isn't. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the first commercial translation of Philogelos – a 1600-year-old collection of Greek jokes. From absurd situations to general stupididity, farting to foolishness, this book contains a wealth of jokes, some of which still hit the mark and some that will have you groaning with laughter, even if it is because they're so bad, they're good! Includes such 'old chestnuts' as: • At a woman's funeral, a stranger solemnly asks, 'Who is resting here?' 'I am!' cries the widower, 'Now that she's gone!'
From the sublime to the ridiculous, and despite some humour appearing to have been 'lost in translation', this bizarre collection of quips from our comedy forefathers is guaranteed to raise a smile.

About the Author

Dan Crompton studied Classics and Linguistics at Cambridge University. He is the author of Caught Short (2013) and A Classical Primer (2012) and the translator (from the original Ancient Greek) of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: The World's Oldest Joke Book (2010).


  • 'The gagmeisters of today would do well to learn from the ancients... a work of scholarship as much as a tickler of the funny bone
  • a sassy but accurate translation', The Daily Telegraph
  • 'I like a fart joke as much as the next man... and it's reassuring that the Romans, who gave us the word puerile, were equally enthusiastic', The Times