Mary Beard is a well known classicist who did an excellent TV series on Rome. Recently she has made an ancient joke book more well known – that of Philogelos who compiled this book in the third or fourth century AD.
The full text can be found online at
Some of the jokes could work equally well today. Here are a couple as a sample.
Μισογύναιος, τῆς γυναικὸς αὐτοῦ ἀποθανούσης, ἐπὶ τῷ θάψαι ἐκήδευε. τινὸς δὲ ἐρωτήσαντος· Τίς ἀνεπαύσατο; ἔφη· Ἐγὼ ὁ ταύτης στερηθείς.
A misogynist was attending to the burial of his dead wife. When someone asked “who has been laid to rest?” he replied “I have, now that I am rid of her”.
Μωρὸς κωφῷ συγκαθεύδων ἔβδεσε. τοῦ δὲ τὴν δυσωδίαν
αἰσθομένου καὶ κατακράξαντος ἔφη· Ἴδε, πῶς ἀκούεις· ἀλλ´ ἐμπαίζεις μοι.
An idiot sharing a bed with a deaf man farted. When the deaf man smelt it and gave a loud shout, he said “how did you hear that? You’ve been having me on”