Brill’s New Pauly

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(257 words)

(ἀστράγαλος; astrágalos).

[German version]

[2] Playing-piece

Playing-piece (talus). Knucklebones from calves and sheep/goats, also those made of gold, glass, marble, clay, metals and ivory, mentioned already in Hom. Il. 23,85-88 as playing-pieces. Astragaloi were used as counters for games of chance,  dice and throwing games, including the games ‘odd or even’ (Pl. Ly. 206e) or πεντάλιθα (pentálitha,  Games of dexterity). In the astrag…

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Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) and Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld), “Astragalos”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 26 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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