Erigena and the King (the original Irish joke) 
One day tho king and Erigena sat on opposite sides of the
table, with the courtiers ranged around. The scholar—through
forgetfulness or ignorance—transgressed some of the rules of etiquette,
so as to offend the fastidious taste of those who sat by, upon which,
the king asked him what was the difference between a Scot* and a
sot (Quid distat inter Scottum et Sottum?). "
"Tabula tantum" (Just the breadth of the table)," said Erigena; and it is more
than likely that the royal witling ventured on no more puns, for
that day at least, at the scholar's expense. Erigena is said to have
died in France some time previous to the year 877.

* A Scot then meant a native of Ireland

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