Classics, Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Tracing Humour Conference ()

Jan M. van der Molen
University of Groningen
The hypothesis that approaches the use of humour throughout the ages as something approximating a coping mechanism, has been subject to a long-standing discussion in what is known as humour studies. In this particular essay, by looking through the spectacles of one of the discipline’s theories, called relief theory, I will attempt to find out whether humour was used to lighten the weight of oppression in Imperial Rome, and can thus corroborate this hypothesis.
Keywords Humour Studies  Relief Theory  Early Roman Empire  Political Subversion  Ridicule  Tyranny  Oppression  Liberty
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