Text and cartoons by Linda Thompson
The Philogelos, typically translated as “the joker” or “the one who loves laughter”, is an ancient Greek collection of approximately 265 jokes. Dating to the 4th or 5th century CE, it typically bears the title of the world’s oldest surviving collection of jokes.
After reading Dan Crompton’s translation of the Philogelos (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: The World’s Oldest Joke Book ), Linda Thompson was struck by the idea that a number of the jokes in the collection could work well as cartoons. We hope you’ll enjoy the fifth installment in this series!
*Notes on the text and translation
The Greek text accompanying each joke is taken from Philogelos, ed. R.E. Dawe. Bibliotheca Teubneriana. Munich and Leipzig: K.G. Saur, 2000. The English translation is that of Crompton, listed above. Each joke’s number refers to its number in the Greek (Teubner) edition.