Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Mysterious Roman Dodecahedron...

The great mystery of the dodecahedron may never be truly solved. Its name comes from the 12 sides it has but the true purpose of the object is baffling historians and archaeologists. Many laymen who read about the mystery gave their opinion which ranged from a fishing net weight, to an ancient paper weight. See if you can figure out what this Roman object was used for, post your comments...


  1. I have discussed in two papers on arXiv a possible use of the Roman Dodecahedron, bronze artifact of gallo-roman origin, for measuring distance. I used a dodecahedron, found at Jublains, the ancient Nouiodunum, dating from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, to create a model. Looking through the model, it is possible to test it for measurements of distance based on similar triangles. After preparing a copy of a specific object, The paper on arXiv is explaining how it can be used for measuring distance (as a telemeter).
    For me, those dodecahedrons having a structure with holes of different sizes, are military instruments to evaluate distances (rangefinders) for ballistics (see also
    It is simple to use. Of course, during the Middle Age, different instruments had been developed: the dodecahedron is of the Roman Army, and, probably, its use was lost after the collpase of the Empire.
    Thank you for your attention

  2. Thanks for your information, it is a fascinating object... I apologize your comment went unnoticed by me so long.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...