Aweidah Gallery

Roman steatite gaming die, 100 AD

Item #1140790

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Price: Sold

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You are considering an ancient Roman steatite dice dating to 1st Century AD

Measurements: 1.4 cm

Playing Dice was very popular game among the Romans. The Romans called these tesserae

This game was played in taverns as well as gambling houses, brothels and on the street. The emperor Commodus was fond of gambling with dice, and once turned the Imperial Palace into a brothel and gambling house to raise money for the treasury he bankrupted. In this he may have followed a precedent set by the mad emperor Caligula.

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."

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.

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).

Condition: Good condition as shown

Found in Jerusalem, Israel