hist-games: Road to Jerusalem

Jane & Mark Waks waks at ne.mediaone.net
Sat Nov 4 10:13:01 PST 2000


Lee-Gwen wrote:
> In my searching of the entertainment section of Stefan's Florilegium files
> (http://www.florilegium.org) I found the following game.  I have serious
> doubts about its period validity (mostly based on the fact that I want it to
> be and that never works out and also because the author of the post about
> the game says:
> 
> "As near as I can tell (minimal research and much hearsay) _Road
> to Jerusalem_ sprang from the 3rd Crusade and appears to have been a
> tavern game. "

Well, from the description it's obviously a variant of Game of the Goose
-- the layout and rules are very close to Goose. I've never heard of it,
and it's not listed in Murray (the most comprehensive source on board
games), so it's unlikely to actually be period. And it almost certainly
doesn't date to the Crusades -- Goose was invented in the last quarter
of the 16th century in Italy, so unless this is an ancient ancestor that
the scholars haven't heard of, I'd guess that it's not true.

That said, it's close enough to Goose that I don't think it's an
unreasonable game to play in an SCA context; it's an invention, but not
an outrageous one. Just be careful not to perpetuate a myth that it's
actually medieval -- it's almost certainly a modern invention closely
inspired by a renaissance game...

				-- Justin

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