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Thread: 1st Century Roman Dice

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    Default 1st Century Roman Dice

    Its amazing that almost 2000 years ago people were throwing this actual dice in games and/or gambling.




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    Godzilla (13-12-11),JasonC (13-12-11),Jims Brother (15-01-12),stuballs (13-12-11)



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    amazing
    hard to comprehend
    I have some 400 year old weapons (nihonto) even that freaks me out that someone was at least wearing it back in feudal Japan then but 2000 years old
    wow

    more details?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonC View Post
    amazing
    hard to comprehend
    I have some 400 year old weapons (nihonto) even that freaks me out that someone was at least wearing it back in feudal Japan then but 2000 years old
    wow

    more details?
    Not much I can really add, its in the mail so I dont have it here yet.

    But as a bit of background, I am a bit of a collector of historical stuff. I reguarly watch Time Team on Foxtel and have noticed probably 2 or 3 times that they have dug up a dice (the same as this one) while doing a dig on a roman site in Britain. The romans were quite amazing as to how they lived and what they did and roman finds of all kinds are actually quite common in the UK. In Australia we are happy to find an old coin with a metal detector, in the UK they reguarly turn up roman rings, jewellery and other kinds of metalware.

    Like yourself, I get a bit awestruck to think that an item I am holding was held by someone thousands of years ago

    I came across one on an international ebay site from a dealer and couldnt help myself

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    are they made from stone or ivory or?

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    Bone I think from memory....but will check.

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    Yep , bone it is. I found this bit of info as well on a site selling roman artefacts......

    Dice such as these were carried all across the Roman Empire by traveling, marching legionnaires during the 1st to 3rd centuries AD. After a long, hard day of toil and misery soldiers would congregate rowdily around fires, and in taverns, drinking and playing games of chance with their dice.

    They are even referred to in the Bible:
    John 19:24 Then the soldiers when they crucified Jesus took His outer garments and they made four parts, a part to every soldier. So they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the Scripture: "They divided my outer garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots."
    Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots (throwing dice).

    Edit : Whats the bet I buy more than one ? Last "interesting" thing I bought was a 1915 trench whistle, I now have about 30 whistles

    Each of these dice were hand carved from a single piece of animal bone, and made small enough to be carried in the mouth, if need be. They were discovered at a Roman military encampment near the Danube River in Eastern Europe.

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    Are you going to use it when you play board games?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanity View Post
    Bone I think from memory....but will check.

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