No one can tell who made the spheres of twelve faces or why or what the Romans called them: maybe Corpus Sacrum. Maybe something else. We refer to them as pentagondodecahedra. But that is a modern word, and an uncouth one, too.
A hundred are known. Many have been found in France, in Belgium, they seem highly concentrated in southern England and at the middle course of the river Rhine. There are as many assumptions on their use as there are dodecahedra. None is conclusive. Alas, the classical authors have not mentioned or described them. Or have they?
There is a haunting quote by a man from the second century, Marcus Valerius Martialis. He referred to mysterious items he called the Pilae Mattiacae ? the Mattiacian Spheres.
No one has excavated a Pila Mattiaca or found its image, and it was never mentioned again. The only clue we have is its name. The Mattiaci were the people who lived in the Roman age at the middle Rhine, right where so many spheres of twelve faces have been found.
So what if ? just if ? the Pilae Mattiacae and the dodecahedra were one and the same thing? For that reason, the fundamentalist Corpus Sacrum sect has firmly established itself in the Roman borderland. Charis, the teenage kitchen slave, has been caught in a trap when she tried to replace her master's dodecahedron which she had unknowingly destroyed. Restitutus, the ageing priest, is facing his abductor who is more powerful than anticipated. And then a murderer is on the loose. Who may have Charis on his agenda, too.
The third and final volume, "Dawn of the Swordstar", will be published in summer 2014.
See also the sequel trilogy, "Opus Gemini", vol. I to III.