This article that came across in my feed today reminded me of a subject that has interested me for years - the "mysterious" Roman dodecahedrons. I doubt they relate directly to Epicurean issues, but when something from the Roman period seems unexplainable I always wonder if there's not something interesting and significant that needs to be integrated into our thinking about the period. It's tempting to suggest that these have some kind of Pythagorean or Platonic aspect, but I've never seen any firm argument in that direction. I thought I would post this just to see if anyone else had run into any interesting explanations for these that might be relevant to us.
Episode 216 of the Lucretius Today Podcast is now available. Today we address an important but frequently questioned doctrine of Epicurus - Why did he seem to say that length of time does not contribute to pleasure?
I like the idea that they were used for knitting... or for candles. You may have seen them on ebay, for about $50.
I remember a Cosmos episode from years ago where Carl Sagan talked about the duodecahedrons as being part of the "Platonic Solids".
Only five are possible. These he evidently saw as representing the elements of "earth, water, fire and air" and a fifth solid conforming to the material of the heavenly realm.
>>The Platonic solids are prominent in the philosophy of Plato, their namesake. Plato wrote about them in the dialogue Timaeus c. 360 B.C. in which he associated each of the four classical elements (earth, air, water, and fire) with a regular solid. Earth was associated with the cube, air with the octahedron, water with the icosahedron, and fire with the tetrahedron.
Of the fifth Platonic solid, the dodecahedron, Plato obscurely remarked, "...the god used [it] for arranging the constellations on the whole heaven". Aristotle added a fifth element, aither (aether in Latin, "ether" in English) and postulated that the heavens were made of this element, but he had no interest in matching it with Plato's fifth solid.<<
If you can tap into the power of the heavens, you have a heck of a lucky charm!