Tag Archive for 'Humour'

Sometimes it can be a long day at the monastery

David Wilmshurst has sent me an amusing GIF of the (amicable) 13th century debate on christology between Latin and Syrian monks… ‘And how many natures, persons, hypostases, wills, energies and activities do you ascribe precisely to the Incarnate Christ? Think carefully before you answer …’ Click to enlarge.  

Freaky Fables: The Career of Richard the Lionheart – according to Handelsman!

Those of a bookish disposition have a tendency, in middle age, to go in search of the books that they read in their formative years.  I will not disclaim any such tendency.  Rather, I have just come across an item that I read when I was very much younger, which I thought that I might […]

Is this the best Santa Claus post this Christmas?

I’ve seen a few twitter posts about St. Nicholas punching Arius at the Council of Nicaea.  Now this (via Dyspepsia Generation):

Medieval poison ring found – get one now!

NEW!  For the Borgia in YOUR church … a poison ring! SMILE … as your opponents die writhing on the floor while you preach a sermon about peace and unity! END … those interminable conferences by poisoning your enemies during the communion service! INVITE … your foes round for dinner: “The drinks are on me!” […]

Life at the court of Lysimachus

Athenaeus has preserved a jest from the court of Lysimachus, one of Alexander’s generals: King Lysimachus, who was somewhat stingy, once put a wooden scorpion into the dress of a parasite, for the purpose of frightening him. “I will frighten you, sir,” he said; “give me … two hundred pounds!” — Athenaeus, book vi. p. 246. […]

The man who gave a few pence to the emperor Augustus

The story is in Macrobius, Saturnalia, book 2, chapter 4: [31] As he went down from his residence on the Palatine, a seedy-looking Greek used to offer him a complimentary epigram.  This the man did on many occasions without success, and Augustus, seeing him about to do it again, wrote a short epigram in Greek […]

Some sayings by Cicero from the ‘Saturnalia’ of Macrobius

I have been reading the Saturnalia of Macrobius, that curious store of Latin learning from the very end of the empire.  Book 2 contains a collection of witticisms.  Here are a few. [ 1] But I am surprised, continued Symmachus, that none of you have said anything of Cicero’s jests, for here, as in everything […]

From my diary

It’s far, far too hot to do ANYTHING!!! Turn off your computers, disconnect your wifi, and go out of your houses and frolic on the grass. That should produce rain, and then we can all get back to work again.

Whoopee!!! Pray-o-mat installed at Manchester University, UK! That’ll show ’em, man!

I thought this story must be a spoof.  But apparently it isn’t: A multi-faith praying machine called the Pray-O-Mat has been installed at the University of Manchester. The specially converted photo booth offers more than 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 different languages via a touch screen. The free-to-use machine, designed by German artist […]

Stupidity in Colorado prison administration

An amusing item was posted by Professor Edith Hall on the CLASSICS-L list yesterday, which came into LT-ANTIQ as well: Meanwhile, proof has arrived of the potency of our subject. One of my PhD students, Katie Billotte, sent a copy of a scholarly book I published as a sedate OUP monograph in 1989, “Inventing the […]