"Laughter in Ancient Rome
is a masterwork, simultaneously a sophisticated work of historical and literary scholarship and an unputdownable read. Beard never loses sight of the specificities of Roman culture, yet she encompasses an extraordinary range of ancient and modern theorizing. Her book will appeal to psychologists and anthropologists, as well as to classicists and indeed anyone who has ever thought about the much-debated question of why we laugh."
--William V. Harris, William R. Shepherd Professor of History at Columbia University, and author of Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity
"With a bounty of suggestive and unfailingly intelligent conclusions about the situation of laughter within ancient Roman culture, Beard's remarkable learning is displayed on every page. Laughter in Ancient Rome
is unmistakably a work of scholarship, but it is also an unpretentious and inviting exploration available to anyone who is interested. As a literary attainment, this book is marvelous."
--Dylan Sailor, Associate Professor of Classics at University of California, Berkeley