hist-games: How did vikings play chess??

Mark Waks, AKA Justin du Coeur justin at intermetrics.com
Tue Feb 1 09:47:31 PST 2000


Chas wrote:
> David Parlett in his 1999 book "Oxford History of Board Games" Says:
> 
>   "Chess entered western Europe from Islam in the 10th century -perhaps
> earlier, but sporadically and unrecorded. The oldest literary reference (circa
> 990's AD) is that of the "Versus de schachis, a 99-line poem ...in two
> manuscripts of the Swiss monestary of Einsiedeln."
> 
> So for much of the "AD 800-1050" timeframe in the original question, Chess would
> probably just be arriving, and the tafl/hnefatafl/halatafl game variants would
> probably still be a more common game for the Vikings.

To emphasize this a bit: as I read it, Chess reached *southern* Europe
around the millennium. Communication being what it was, I get the
impression that it took one to two centuries after that to make it up to
the northern end...

				-- Justin

Random Quote du Jour:

"You know those bumper stickers you can get that say 'I <heart> my Cat'
 or Schnauzer or whatever? -- I saw an ad in the Village Voice for a
 little stick on <Screw> icon you can put over the heart...."
		-- Terry Smith

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