The San Francisco Chronicle – Review of Confronting the Classics by Mary Beard

Did you hear the one about the emperor? If you lived in Augustus’ Rome, chances are you heard several of them. The Imperial Roman people had a healthy sense of humor, and the big guy seems to have known how to take a joke. “The tolerance of the Emperor Augustus in the face of quips and banter of all sorts,” Mary Beard tells us, “was still being celebrated four centuries after his death.”

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