Roman Gaming Die Auctioned by Christies

A Roman dodecahedral (twenty-sided) gaming die is being auctioned by the famous Christies auction house. Scholars do not know for what game this twenty-sided die was created, but it strongly resembles the "d20" used in modern role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons™. Carved into the sides of the glass die are symbols that appear to be alchemical or astrological in nature. The die is 5.2 cm (2.0625 inches) in diameter, somewhat larger than most d20 dice used today. It was acquired by a private collector in Egypt in the 1920s, and it is thought to have been made in the second century CE.

The die is expected to fetch between US$4000 and US$6000 when it sells on December 11.