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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » For the record » » Cups and Balls (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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Found this on the web searching for the word

ACETABULARII


The Romans were in the habit of giving conjuring exhibitions, the most favorite feat being that of the cups and balls, the performers of which were called acetabularii, and the cups themselves acetabula. The balls used, however, instead of being the convenient light cork ones employed by modern conjurors, were simply round white pebbles which must have added greatly to the difficulty of performing the trick. The art survived the barbarism and ignorance of the middle ages; and the earliest professors of the modern school were Italians such as Jonas, Androletti and Antonio Carlotti. But towards the close of Elizabeths reign conjurors were classed with ruffians, blasphemers, thieves, vagabonds, Jews, Turks, heretics, pagans and sorcerers.
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Rob Johnston
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Inner circle
Utah
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This could become a GREAT storyline to cups and balls.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Jonathan Townsend
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Ossining, NY
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The stones made the trick more natural or organic. Using stones also suggests those nice tricks where you drop stuff into a goblet and later have it vanish or change.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
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Here's the part you missed, Frank. Down at the bottom of the page, it says, "Since this information is from 1911 it is outdated and contains many OCR errors (typos)."
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Clay Shevlin
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Hey JT, are you suggesting that Roman performers used stones by choice? Interesting thought since cork has been around as long as homo sapiens. Clay
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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And for dice they used sheep ankle bones (I have some somewhere)... Oh, no good for dice stacking! Smile
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tabman
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The big question to me is: Did the discovery of the lodestone spur the invention of the chop cup???

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ursusminor
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Norway
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Quote:
On 2004-10-04 16:30, Frank Starsini wrote:

But towards the close of Elizabeths reign conjurors were classed with ruffians, blasphemers, thieves, vagabonds, Jews, Turks, heretics, pagans and sorcerers.




Great to be in good company!

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pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."
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Jonathan Townsend
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According to some reports, it was indeed done with small stones and bowls. This is a more natural translation of the existing texts than "dice" or "balls".
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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