hist-games: Halatafl

Damian Walker damian at snigfarp.karoo.co.uk
Wed Nov 9 22:19:13 PST 2005

Quoting Huette von Ahrens's message of Yesterday:

> Halatafl is what we now call "Fox and geese".

Sten Helmfrid's excellent site on hnefatafl, (recently moved to
http://hem.bredband.net/b512479/) presents a convincing argument that
halatafl wasn't in fact fox & geese, but was a name for a type of gaming
board, like "tann-tafl".  The main fact that the argument rests on an
extract from the Grettis Saga, where Þorbjörn "was playing hnefatafl, it
was a large halatafl."  This phrase would make no sense if halatafl is
taken to mean fox & geese.  We also know that fox & geese was known as
"ref-skak", meaning "fox-chess".

Damian - http://damian.snigfarp.karoo.net/

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