Spintriae: Evidence for Historic Games?

Duggan, Eddie (2017) Spintriae: Evidence for Historic Games? In: Heritage Futures Research Seminar, 1 March 2017, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, Suffolk.

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In 2010 a Roman token was discovered in the mud of the Thames near Putney Bridge in London. When the token was discovered to have an erotic image on one side and a Roman numeral on the other, and was identified in a Museum of London press release as a rare Roman " brothel token " , the press reported on the story in the expected manner, for example: " A Roman coin that was probably used by soldiers to pay for sex in brothels has been discovered on the banks of the River Thames " (Daily Telegraph, 4 Jan 2012) and " Bronze discs depicting sex acts, like the one discovered in London, were used to hire prostitutes – and directly led to the birth of pornography during the Renaissance " (Guardian, 4 Jan 2012). Even before this particular spate of media interest, these curious tokens have generated confusion, speculation and prurience – often simultaneously. They are of interest to games scholars because the speculation often includes the suggestion these objects may have had a ludic function, and were used as game counters. This paper will look at some of the proposals that have been offered by way of explanation of these peculiar objects

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: games, London, Roman
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CJ Numismatics
D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Eddie Duggan
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 09:17
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:17
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1162

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