Faience polyhedron inscribed with letters of the Greek alphabet
- Mid Imperial
- 2nd–3rd century A.D.
- Width (Point to point, greatest): 2 11/16 in., 7.2oz. (6.8 cm, 204.9g)
Width (Point to point ,smallest): 2 1/2 in. (6.3 cm)
Width (Side to side, greatest): 2 3/16 in. (5.6 cm)
Width (Side to side, smallest): 2 3/16 in. (5.5 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Fletcher Fund, 1937
- Accession Number:
A number of polyhedra made in various materials are known from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. They may have been used in conjunction with an oracle inscribed on a pillar set up in a public place. The polyhedron was thrown in order to choose a letter at random. One consulted the inscription to find the matching letter and read the oracle's response. There would be twenty oracular messages, each beginning with a letter of the alphabet that corresponded to one side of the dice.