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Title: Verbal Humour in Plutarch and Suetonius' Lives
Author(s): REEKMANS, T.
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 23    Date: 1992   
Pages: 189-232
DOI: 10.2143/AS.23.0.2005880

Abstract :
Humour will be dealt with in this study in accordance with the theory
of the ridiculum enunciated by Cicero in the second book of his De oratore and by Quintilian in the sixth book of his Institutio oratoria. By ridicula they understand laughter-inducing utterances and acts which are produced in a playful state of mind. The laughter in question is called risus; it is different from derisus, which is the laughter stirred by utterances and acts that are characterized by unintentional stultitia. Ridicula, according to Quintilian, have in common with urbana «a certain tincture of learning derived from associating with well-educated men» (Inst. or. VI 3.17).

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