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I admire witty people – they can time a joke well and they know the right way to tickle their audience. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t blessed with comic timing or the live ways to entertain. An ill-timed joke or a joke with the wrong audience not only can cause embarrassment but it can also cause a politician to lose votes, or an official to lose his seat. We are luckier still. In ancient Rome, you could lose your life if you happened to be an underling and happened to unluckily laugh at the wrong time. Today’s link will take you through Roman royalty – some of whom could stomach a joke and some who couldn’t. The anecdotes and tales are excellent.

http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2014/06/mary-beard-humour-ancient-rome-was-matter-life-and-deat

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