Selection of Roman Bone Dice

A selection of Roman six-sided dice modelled in bone, known in Latin as tesserea. Each die’s side is incised with the appropriate number of circles, which consist of a large outer ring and small central circle.

Date: Circa 1st-3rd Century AD
Condition: Fine, with signs of ageing.
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SKU: CS-74 Category: Tags: ,

Games involving dice were popular in Ancient Rome and included games where dice were used along with a board and pieces that required moving with the luck of the roll. Whilst gambling and gaming were only legal pastimes during the festival of Saturnalia in December, plenty of Romans partook in the activity during the year. From travelling soldiers at local taverns, to the wealthy elite and ruling class, the Romans were avid fans of playing dice games.

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Reference: For a similar item, Christie’s, 7th October 2010, London, lot number 303.