Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up Volume 71

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Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
University of California Press
Publish Date
6.34 X 9.13 X 1.26 inches | 1.39 pounds

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About the Author
Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at Cambridge University. Her many books include The Roman Triumph and The Fires of Vesuvius.
"Expect to be engaged by an enthralling book."--Harry Mount"The Spectator" (06/07/2014)
"You can read hundreds of books on Roman emperors and conquests; this represents a valiant attempt to bring a little understanding of a smaller, but no less important, part of what made Rome run."--Rob Hardy"Columbus Commercial Dispatch" (07/21/2014)
"'Laughter in Ancient Rome: On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up, ' which has just been published, is an engaging exploration of what made the Romans laugh--bad breath, among other things--but it also explores dimensions of Roman sensibility that have become elusive to us."--Rebecca Mead"New Yorker" (09/01/2014)
"Rich and provocative."--Roy Gibson"TLS" (08/13/2014)
"Like a great piece of archaeology, 'Laughter in Ancient Rome' allows us to glimpse ourselves in the cracked mirror of a distant culture."--John Domini"Washington Post" (09/17/2014)
"Few things are more tiresome than seeing a joke analyzed. . . . Beard's book avoids pedantry but also its opposite, the archness that preens itself on 'not taking humor too seriously' and signals inane wordplays with 'pun intended!' More importantly, her treatment makes one look with new eyes . . . even at works she does not herself discuss . . . [a] stimulating book."
-- (07/10/2014)
"[Beard] makes the Romans come alive and through them, gets readers to ponder that most fundamental and uniquely human facility--laughter. The phenomenal Ms. Beard has written another cracking book, one of her best, I think."-- (05/29/2014)
"[Beard's] central question is simple: what made the Romans laugh? Her answers are pleasingly complex. . . . Beard is always enlightening, and writes with a perfect balance of forensic detail and wide-ranging intellect."-- (06/15/2014)
"Superbly acute and unashamedly complex. . . . To our vision of the solemn grandeur that was Rome, she restores a raucous, ghostly laughter."-- (07/01/2014)
"Written in Beard's trademark combination of erudition and effortless prose, Laughter in Ancient Rome is a fascinating combination of history, psychology, linguistic exploration and humor. This is scholarly writing at its best."-- (07/01/2014)
"What made the Romans laugh? It's an incredible, almost childlike thought to have. But in this characteristically brilliant book by Mary Beard, this simple thought becomes a mental projection that conjures up the world of Rome as well or better than any book in recent memory."-- (12/03/2014)
"A fun read . . . accessible yet academic."-- (04/27/2015)
"This is a very sensible, readable, and useful volume. . . . A valuable contribution to scholarship on a difficult topic."-- (10/18/2015)
"Beard has posed excellent questions about Roman laughter . . . Her engaging style of writing draws the reader into the discussion. . . . A must read."-- (12/01/2015)
"Laughter in Ancient Rome is a book that is filled with good sense and sound scholarship. It is a worthy successor to the previous published volumes of the Sather lectures."-- (10/24/2017)
Beard's ability to draw together a wide array of ancient and modern references in her discussions is impressive... Laughter in Ancient Rome succeeds in leading sympathetic readers on a stimulating journey through Roman "laughterhood".--Phoenix