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Gaming among the ancient Roman emperors , chapter 4, page 1

Home / History / Gaming among the ancient Roman emperors
Volume I Volume II

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz

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Casino Gambling in history

CHAPTER IV. page 1

In spite of the laws enacted against gaming, the court of the
Emperor Augustus was greatly addicted to that vice, and gave it
additional stimulus among the nation. Although, however, he was
passionately fond of gambling, and made light of the imputation
on his character,[25] it appears that in frequenting the gambling
table he had other motives besides mere cupidity. Writing to his
daughter he said, `I send you a sum with which I should have
gratified my companions, if they had wished to play at dice or
_odds and evens_.' On another occasion he wrote to Tiberius:--
`If I had exacted my winnings during the festival of Minerva; if
I had not lavished my money on all sides; instead of losing
twenty thousand sestercii [about L1000], I should have gained
one hundred and fifty thousand [L7500]. I prefer it thus,
however; for my bounty should win me immense glory.'[26]

[25] Aleae rumorem nullo modo expavit. Suet. in Vita Augusti.

[26] Sed hoc malo: benignitas enim mea me ad coelestem gloriam
efferet. _Ubi supra_.

This gambling propensity subjected Augustus to the lash of
popular epigrams; among the rest, the following:

Postquam bis classe victus naves perdidit,
Aliquando ut vincat, ludit assidud aleam.

`He lost at sea; was beaten twice,
And tries to win at least with dice.'

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