hist-games: Greek and Roman 'draughts/checkers'

Ed Hopkins Ed.Hopkins at mci.com
Tue Dec 2 11:57:00 PST 1997


> >>         CHECKERS or DRAUGHTS
> >> [quoting the Brittanica]
> >>         "That checkers was played in the days of the earlier Pharoahs is
> >>         well authenticated by Egyptian history and the British Museum
> >>         contains specimens of primitive boards quite similar to modern ones.
> >>         ... Plato and Homer mentioned the game in their works [...]
[...]
> As far as I know, all these claims of the Romans and Greek already playing
> draughts/checkers comes from a rather 'loose' translation of the Greek
> 'petteia' or 'poleis' and the Roman 'ludus latrunculorum'. Although the
> exact details of these games are not known, they were surely no form of
> checkers.

  Laws by Plato 
  Written ca. 360 B.C.
  Translated by Benjamin Jowett
  Book V:
  [...]
  The next move in our pastime of legislation, like the withdrawal
  of the stone from the holy line in the game of draughts, being an
  unusual one, will probably excite wonder when mentioned for the
  first time. [...]

This seems to me more like Gorean Kaissa than Checkers.

I think that the Brittanica makes quite a few amusing claims
about board games.  For instance, it claims that the "morris"
of Nine Men's Morris comes from Morris Dancing.

-- Alfredus Scurra
__________________
Death-defying, mutilated
Armies gather near.
Crawling out of dirty holes.
Their morals,
Their morals disappear.
 

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