Although the topic of humour has been dealt with for other eras, early medieval humour remains largely neglected. These essays go some way towards filling the gap, examining how early medieval writers deliberately employed humour to make their cases. The essays range from the late Roman empire through to the tenth century, and from Byzantium to Anglo-Saxon England. The subject matter is diverse, but a number of themes link them together, notably the use of irony, ridicule and satire as political tools. Two chapters serve as an extended introduction to the topic, while the following six chapters offer varied treatments of humour and politics, looking at different times and places, but at the Carolingian world in particular. Together, they raise important and original issues about how humour was employed to articulate concepts of political power, perceptions of kingship, social relations and the role of particular texts.