Roman Dice Tower, 4th Century AD

The Vettweiss-Froitzheim Dice Tower is a Roman artifact formerly used in the playing of dice games discovered in Germany in 1985 near the modern villages of Vettweiss and Froitzheim. It was intended to produce a trustworthy throw of one or more dice. When the dice emerged from the tower they would ring three bells which formerly hung above the exit. One of these bells survives intact. This tower was apparently presented as a gift and bears some Latin text that commemorates the defeat of the Picts and wishes the unnamed owner well.


   “The Picts are defeated.
   The enemy is destroyed.
   Play in safety!”

Der Walchensee in Bayern (Bavaria), Southern Germany is one of the deepest and largest alpine lakes in Germany, 75 km south of Munich. The entire lake lies within the municipality of Kochel. The name Walchen comes from Middle High German and means “strangers”. All Roman and romanized peoples of the Alps south of Bavaria were known to locals as Welsche or Walche. On 16th-century maps, the lake is labelled Dicto Italico (“leading to Italy”), probably because the route through the Walchensee valley led through Mittenwald and Innsbruck (Austria) into Italy.