hist-games: Nine men's morris

Christian Joachim Hartmann lukian at Null.net
Mon Aug 24 09:04:06 PDT 1998

At 16:55 24.08.98 +1200, Catriona Logan wrote:
>... I'd like to find out
>what materials were used for the authentic playing sets, and would
>appreciate any information that others on the list might be able to tell me.

Well, the most usual kind of morris set would have been a board.
This would normally've been of wood, but ivory, ebony, lead, mother
of pearl, silver and simply any other material used for period
furniture might also be used.

Other boards - and the oldest in any case - were found scratched in
stone, e.g. on stairs. But there were also instances of morris boards
finely incised in stone.
In the late middle ages there was a fashion for costly game-board being
made of lime-stone.

I've never heard of leather boards or other boards of more flexible nature -
in Europe that is. In Muslim countries, game-boards were made of cloth.
[One modern leather board to be seen here <http://www.cpl.org/Chess51.html>]

When on the topic of Morris - I've not right sure to how the
game was played in olden times. I started to compare the rules from
different books and realized that they differ. 

Has anybody a hint which set of rules is supposed to be authentic?
Some period source for a complete set of rules?

**       Christian Joachim Hartmann 
**       lukian at Null.net
**       christian.hartmann at uni-duesseldorf.de

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