Review by Laurent Tholbecq in: L'Antiquité Classique (85) 2016
This volume is dedicated to the edition of a group of materials belonging to the historic “Giulio Sambon” Archaeological Collection in Milan. However, it is not the first that the University of Milan, with a large group of its scholars, in fruitful collaboration with officials of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Lombardy, has dedicated to the scientific study of selected lots of finds from the famous collection. The first volume (2012), aimed at the edition of objects and vases related to childhood in the classical world and to infantile ludus (here reissued in the attached CD), is now followed by the publication of the extraordinary collection of dice, pawns, tiles and counter-brands related to games of skill, calculation, strategy and gambling from the classical world to the medieval age. Recovering the cultural and social dimension recognized by the Greeks and Romans of ludus, but also groped to reconstruct the different game atmospheres, the space-time contexts of classical age play: these are the main objectives of the volume. In it, the first part of essays aimed at the announced purposes is followed by the actual catalog of Sambon objects; a third part closes the book, in which the obvious absence of contexts of origin for the Sambon materials is somehow 'compensated' by the presentation of recent discoveries of playful elements in archaeological contexts of Lombardy, and beyond.