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Renaissance fart jokes

Poggio Bracciolini was a key instigator of the Italian Renaissance: he recovered or rediscovered many of the Latin texts that would inspire that storied revival. Also, he loved a good fart joke.


Antonio Luciani (Italian printmaker; fl. 1700–1738) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bracciolini, the personal secretary to seven popes, was part of the humanist impulse to take a second look at Classical writing, along with figures like Petrarch and Boccaccio. He hunted for copies of ancient manuscripts in monastic libraries (especially in 1416 and 1417, the years without a pope). He was instrumental in the recovery of works by Cicero, Vitruvius, and most famously Lucretius. As in, Bracciolini found the only surviving copy of Lucretius’ On the Nature of Things.

But Bracciolini also liked fart jokes. He liked them so much that he wrote a joke book called The Facetiae. Published in 1470, eleven years after his death, it was the first printed joke book. And it was full of fart jokes, sex jokes, and in at least one case a farting sex joke.

No, I’m not going to post the farting sex joke here. But the second Wikipedia link below has all the details.

Categories: Arts & recreation Early modern history Europe History Literature Places

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

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