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  • Writer's picturePaul


Everyone knows the Romans liked a drop of the old vino, a nice seasonal orgy and a bout of enforced vomiting around the dinner table to wile away those lazy summer nights. But when they weren’t busy bacchanalia-ing all over the place or preparing Christian tartare for the Colosseum’s lions, the Romans actually liked to dedicate their time to some perfectly respectful pursuits—like PAYING JESTERS TO TAKE THE PISS OUT OF DEAD PEOPLE.

Dead ringer (Wikipedia)

Because here’s the thing: at high society funerals back in Ancient Rome, a comic player known as the ‘archimime’ or archimimus would sometimes be employed to attend the ceremony dressed as the deceased.

They would copy the actions, voice, sayings, and even gait of the unfortunate soul who had kicked the bucket—often right down to walking through the streets of the city as part in the funeral procession, acting like a comically overblown version of whoever had popped their clogs. Or their sandals, as the case may be.

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