The most shocking thing about this book is how un-unusual it is. All the cliches, jokes, etc., which one takes for granted, are here centuries ago and unchanged by time. Reading it is stepping back in time and realizing that 2000 years is nothing--for there has been little or no change in our collective sensibilities and desires. Beyond its offer of the eternal human, if that were not enough, here is the only printed evidence of initiation into a Mystery Cult--very important in itself, for scholars anyway. But what is most enlightening is the revelation that all that you read you have heard before. These stories are somehow part of Western tradition, or perhaps all human traditions. Eg., the hen-pecked husband, the cuckhold, etc. Like the film Citizen Cain, one is often un-struck by it because all of its techniques have been adopted, and so it is rather dull; there is nothing in it we have not seen as we have adopted all its devices (or what it was, is now what is). Try as some of us might, this book is evidence that we have not changed--and this is not fodder for conservatives, nor for liberals (nor for radicals); all can be disheartened and gladdened, and all can learn what human stuff is made of through its perusal.