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Is this a Roman era tool?

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Essex Barn Workshop

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Interesting article I stumbled upon about these Roman dodechohedrons that have been found all over europe, but no one knows what they were used for.
The holes on each of the 12 sides are all different in size, and some theories see them as a distance measuring gauge.
I just wondered if anyone here might see a practical use for such a thing!
Link to the article, I found it interesting
 

Droogs

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lol Romans didn't have spaghetti, they weren't Italian then
 

J-G

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lol Romans didn't have spaghetti, they weren't Italian then
Not being Italian does not preclude having Spaghetti - or any shape Pasta for that matter. It is though by some that Pasta, and probably Spaghetti, could even pre-date Christianity.

I'm not suggesting in any way that the @manglitter might be correct though.
 

J-G

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I have always been taught that the idea of pasta was brought to Italy by Marco Polo on his return from getting a Chinese takeaway
That is now considered a myth and is probably a mis-interpretation of his writings where he talks of a tree - thought to be the Sago Palm - which produces a starchy food that resembles Pasta which he knew of from his home country.
 

OldWood

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And there was I thinking, J-G, you were going to be referring to the spaghetti tree as described on the BBC by the famous Richard Dimbleby.

Oopps, apologies - gone off topic.
 

Droogs

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I wonder if it is the Roman version of a "Woggle". As it is known that a Legionary had to pay for his own kit and would decorate it, I wonder if this was something that an Optio or Centurian would be allowed to use for their neck scarf when wearing Lorica Squeamata or Segmentata.
 

Stanleymonkey

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Such a hard shape to construct if you needed six pairs of opposing lenses to look through - surely making a set of two cubes would have been a lot easier and cheaper and more repairable - I'm not sold on the ancient rangefinder idea!

With the tetrahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron etc there is an amazing feature: If you take a line from the the centre of each face you will draw out a new perfect shape inside the shape you started with.

Imagine a cube shaped cardboard box - make a hole in the centre of each face and thread string through each hole in turn. It will create a perfect octahedron inside. Repeat with the octahedron and it makes a perfect cube inside.

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If you do the same with a dodecahedron it creates an icosahedron inside and vice versa.

1606644035855.png


When I saw those lenses I wondered if it was connected with these weird properties - but they are sadly all different shapes and sizes.


Anyway - I would love to see one of these lit from the inside and placed in a dark room and see what light it throws off. Even better lit from the outside and see what shapes and patterns appear inside.
 

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I personally like the idea of a fit any size candleholder, I toyed with the idea that it could be for measuring different tapers, but without any markings to tell you what angle they actually are it’s a bit pointless, I think the knobs are to help it stand straight on an uneven surface, it would be interesting to know if candlewax had been found on any examples. Ian
 

Cabinetman

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I wonder if it is the Roman version of a "Woggle". As it is known that a Legionary had to pay for his own kit and would decorate it, I wonder if this was something that an Optio or Centurian would be allowed to use for their neck scarf when wearing Lorica Squeamata or Segmentata.
Hi Droogs, I think they had enough to carry already!
 

J-G

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And there was I thinking, J-G, you were going to be referring to the spaghetti tree as described on the BBC by the famous Richard Dimbleby.
Ah --- I remember it well --- concidered by many to be the best 'April Fool' joke ever pulled off by a reputable news reporter.
 

Benchwayze

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Somewhere I read that spaghetti (pasta) was 'invented' by the Romans. In its dried form, it was an easy, and convenient method of preserving food, for the Legions to carry with them on their campaigns. Which makes nonsense of the idea that fresh spaghetti is tastier than dried. Once it's cooked I can't see or taste any difference, so dried pasta is for me, the best way to keep it in the pantry!
However it is now forbidden me, because of its starch content. Hence the weight I have lost in the last 12-18 months (4.5 stones) plus my type 2 diabetes 'signals' have reversed. I love pasta; it don't like me!" :dunno:

Go to YouTube. There are a number of videos showing these artifacts being used to knit gloves!

I wonder if this was a precursor to a wooden cotton reel, with panel pins hammered around the central hole. As kids, using that and a bodkin, we wove pyjama cords, that we called caulking (corking?) Not for any specific purpose; mostly the girls used it as a pastime and the aim was to see who could weave the longest length. I recall one particular girl.... well that's another story! 😎

I am posting the link and THWI

John
 
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Blister

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Come on , Surly we all know how spaghetti is made

 

Sandyn

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I wonder if it's a tool for verifying the size of different coins. Shopkeepers may have used them. Coins tended to be made of precious metals, so perhaps there was a thriving counterfit business. The opposing sides may be max and min limits or just for different coins.....or other round things
 

Bm101

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What an absolutely fascinating post. Thankyou for sharing.
 

bourbon

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As a re-enactor. In our group, we would have made a replica, then just put it in our kit. One day. We will do something, and the item is the logical thing to use. We do wars of the roses, so out of our period
 

Terry - Somerset

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Just a guess but I think it may be used for roman rope making.

There used to be a craze for french knitting 50-60 years ago which on a diy basis involved a cotton reel with 4 nails at one end. The purpose was to knit the thread using the nails as a "frame", and as it was completed it emerged fro the end of the hole in the middle.

Having different sized holes would allow different sizes of rope (or possibly different yarns, to be knitted into ropes.

I understand many of these have been found at roman military sites - I am sure they would need rope for all manner of things from holding the toga closed to building a ballista!
 
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