The Influence of Ancient Rome on Modern Gambling
Few ancient empires have had an influence on the modern world that has been as great as the Roman one. Stretching across Europe and North Africa, its legacy can still be felt today both in Italy and beyond. From its scientific discoveries to its political systems, it shaped how we live. Yet one area they had a fractious relationship with was gambling. Below, we discuss the state of gambling in Ancient Rome.
Gambling was illegal in Ancient Rome. It was only allowed on certain holidays, and even this was only between the Republican and Imperial periods. There were a few reasons for this. The first was that gambling was linked to the use of magic, which was feared by the authorities. It could also result in public unrest, which was not something desirable.
That did not mean that Romans didn’t gamble, and laws were not strictly enforced. There are records that the emperors often gambled for huge sums of money, with Augustus once losing thirty times an average soldier’s salary in one session. Lucius Verus, according to Ancient Origins, and Caligula are also on record as being passionate gamblers.
The Influence of Rome on Modern Gambling
The influence of Ancient Rome on modern gambling can easily be seen in modern slot games. This is apparent in online casinos both globally and in Italy itself. While many slots have different themes, often based on folklore and mythology from around the world, a great number use the imagery and narrative of Italian history as a crux. Casino777 has a host of these slot games, such as Kassius Invictus Armis which is set in the grand and iconic Colosseum. Attractive bonuses and graphic styles in games like these are some of the many factors that have also led online slot games to grow in popularity.
Other evidence that suggests the Romans liked to gamble has been apparent in the number of dice found at archaeological digs. Upper-class Romans would distance themselves from common gamblers by calling themselves Aleators, which translates as Dicers. Dice were asymmetrical and Romans believed fate played a part in how they landed, not probability.
One of the few casino games that use dice today is Craps, in which players bet on the outcome of how the dice fall. This game bears striking similarities to how Romans would settle disputes using dice and bones. Very often, goat and sheep anklebones have been found alongside these objects. Players would throw them together and use a scoring system to decide who was the winner, much like players in craps roll dice and bet against other players or the house. This is also similar to the modern game of Yahtzee.
Many of our modern gambling practices that exist today had roots in Roman civilization. Yet now, there is more choice on offer and safer systems to work with. Manage your bankroll, get the right game, and you may just find yourself winning like a Roman emperor.
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