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Philogelos

  • By: Przemyslaw Marciniak
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Philogelos (The Laughter-Lover) is the only surviving jokebook from antiquity written in ancient Greek. Other traces include the Roman author Fulgentius (5th/6th centuries CE), who mentions liber facetiarum (a jokebook) written by Tacitus, but the book’s existence is most likely to be fabricated by Fulgentius himself, as was noted by Barry Baldwin. Some scholars see a possible predecessor for the Philogelos in a jokebook that may have been produced by a “Group of Sixty,” whose members lived in Athens in the time of Demosthenes and Philip the Macedonian. The title of this jokebook is attested in manuscript tradition and its authorship is sometimes ascribed to Hierocles and Philagrius, a grammatician, but whether these were the actual writers is unknown. Nothing else is known about the ...

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