Ancient Greek Jokes

You think my jokes are old! A Greek joke book has been published that dates back to the 4th century AD. Some of the jokes are still around, although they are now told in somewhat different terms. For example, one of the jokes is similar to Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch.
The 1,600-year-old work entitled "Philogelos: The Laugh Addict," one of the world's oldest joke books, features a joke in which a man complains that a slave he has just bought has died, its publisher said Friday.

"By the gods," answers the slave's seller, "when he was with me, he never did any such thing!"

In a British comedy act Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch, first aired in 1969 and regularly voted one of the funniest ever, the pet-shop owner says the parrot, a "Norwegian Blue," is not dead, just "resting" or "pining for the fjords."

The English-language book will appeal to those who swear that the old jokes are the best ones. Many of its 265 gags will seem strikingly familiar, suggesting that sex, dimwits, nagging wives and flatulence have raised laughs for centuries.

Link -Thanks, Jayne Howley!

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Many of Aesop's fables are actually jokes, and quite a few have not been watered down for children and fitted with a "moral." One of my all-time favorites:

Zeus and Hermes get into an argument about which of them is held in higher esteem by mortals. They decide to settle the matter by disguising themselves as travelers and visiting a sculptor's studio. Inside the studio, they inquire about the price of a statue of Hermes.
"Ah, Hermes, messenger of the gods," says the sculptor. "He's 20 drachmas."
Hermes and Zeus don't know if this is a good price or not, so they make more inquiries. They ask about a statue of Hera nearby.
"Hera, queen of the gods... She's 30 drachmas. All that curly hair takes longer to carve, you know."
Zeus smirks to himself, thinking, "My wife costs more than Hermes does!" Then he points to a statue of himself and asks the price.
"Ah, Zeus, king of the Olympians... Tell ya what --- If you buy Hermes and Hera, I'll throw in Zeus for free."
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