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"Antoninus Piu´s Box"


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The legend tells that in the year 141 A.D Antoninus Pius, the Roman Empire Emperor, had to go on a journey due to problems in the borders, while his beloved had to remain in the city. It is said that during that time, the Emperor communicated with his beloved in a very special and unique way: both had decided that, on a certain time of the day, she would write a message on the sand and Antoninus would randomly take some stones with different words engraved on them. He would turn the stones around and the message that appeared was the same as the one written on the sand (by his beloved). The following day Antoninus was the one who would write on the sand and his beloved would choose the stones. In that way, at the end of that long journey, they were able to feel closer than ever before.

After telling the legend, the magician shows his audience six engraved wooden pieces which he will make face down a table. He also shows them a beautiful box with sand in its inside. The magician explains that, in the way of Antoninus, he has drawn a picture on the sand inside the box, which is now hermetically sealed, and he asks someone from the audience to hold the box in their hands and to choose one of the six wooden pieces. When the box is opened, the picture
on the sand is the same as the one in the wooden piece. The magician explains that that has been only one part of the experience and that now the participant (as Antoninus’s beloved) will draw something on the sand and the magician (as the Emperor) will choose a piece and once again the experience will be successful. At that point the magician asks his audience:

“Do you still believe this story is only a legend?.”