Pot of honey

The Philogelos: Joke #173

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 [2010]), 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 13th installment in this series!

Philogelos 148-T173_NEW

Joke 173T Phil

*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.