Plato said God invented dice. This we learn from one of Ricky Jay's fascinating essays in a delightful small volume that takes us from the earliest forms (astragalithe heel bones of hoofed quadrupeds, four of whose six sides were used for gaming) to the myriad types of "loading" and other means of cheating with dice in the modern era. Along the way we discover that Augustus, Caligula, and Nero were all inveterate players, that Queen Elizabeth issued a search and seizure order against the manufacture of false dice in 1598, and that dice made from celluloid, invented in 1869, remained stable for decades, and thenin a flashbegan to decompose. These are the dice of Rosamond Purcell's luminous and seductive photographs, images which transform entropy to an art form. Jay and Purcell give us a dual meditation on dice that will educate us and amuse us at the same time. 13 color photographs.
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