The first ever printed joke book was published posthumously by Poggio Bracciolini in 1470 AD, an anthology of jokes that became known as “the most famous jokebook of the Renaissance.”

Included in the first ever printed joke book was the tale of “Perugian ambassadors to Pope Urban.”

Read humor from the Late Medieval Times in an English translation of Facetiae below:

The inhabitants of Perugia had also sent three ambassadors to Pope Urban V in Avignon. When they came, the Pope was seriously ill; but, wishing not to keep them longer in suspense, he ordered them to be introduced, with the previous request that they should speak but few words.

One of them, a Doctor, who had learnt by heart, on the way, a long speech which he intended to deliver to the Pontiff, took no heed of his sickly state nor of his keeping his bed, but was so verbose that the Holy Father gave frequent signs of fatigue whilst hearing him out.

When the indiscreet speaker had got through his oration, the Pope, with his accustomed urbanity, enquired of the other Ambassadors if they had anything to add to what had been said. One of them, whom had escaped neither his colleague’s silliness nor the Pontiff’s weariness, at once replied: “Most Holy Father, we have express orders that if you do not immediately comply with our demands, we are not to leave your presence until our friend here has delivered his speech a second time.”

The Sovereign Pontiff smiled at the joke, and ordered their business be expedited without delay.

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