Monday, 6 September 2021

ālea iacta est

Via the ever excellent Everlasting Blört, we are directed to this pair of Roman anthropomorphic dice, silver squatting figurines weighted (equitably presumably) to fall in one of six (tesserae, though usually in games in the Empire tossed in threes) positions.

The above phrase attributed to Julius Caesar by the historian Suetonius when the general brought his provincial army into the capital is like other quotations a likely translation from the Greek borrowing from the humorist Menander, «Ἀνερρίφθω κύβος», let a die be cast in either form the phrase meaning metaphorically reaching a point of no return from whose juncture the decisions are irreversible.