ANCIENT ROMAN JOKE ABOUT MIND AND BODY. Dick Weisfelder called my attention to this review by Steve Mirsky at the Scientific American website of Mary Beard’s LAUGHTER IN ANCIENT ROME. Mirsky quotes from the Philogelos, a Roman joke book that dates back to the fourth or fifth century A.D. Here is one of those jokes:

“An academic, a bald guy and a barber traveling together stop to make camp for the night. They arrange to each take a watch while the other two sleep, with the barber on first watch and the academic to follow. The barber gets bored as the bald guy and the egghead sleep, so he shaves the academic’s head to pass the time. At the end of his watch, the barber wakes up the academic, who rubs his now hairless head and says, ‘This barber is an idiot—he woke up the bald guy instead of me.’”

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