previous next
[57] We may note therefore that jests which turn on the meaning of things are at once more pointed and more elegant. In such cases resemblances between things produce the best effects, more especially if we refer to something of an inferior or more trivial nature, as in the jests of which our forefathers were so fond, when they called Lentulus Spinther and Scipio Serapio.1 But such jests may be drawn not merely from the names of men, but from animals as well; for example when I was a boy, Junius Bassus, one of the wittiest of men, was nicknamed the white ass.

1 From their resemblances to Spinther, a bad actor, and to Serapio, a dealer in sacrificial victims.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: