hist-games: Latrunculi

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Tue Nov 22 09:10:31 PST 2005

Den 2005-11-22 09:03:18 skrev <u.schaedler at museedujeu.com>:

> This is unfortunately not a good article about the Latrunculi game.
> Concerning the game board found in Stanway it is mere conjecture to
> interpret this as an interrupted Latrunculi game. There will be an
> extensive discussion of the find in the forthcoming final excavation
> report. The excavator Philip Crummy told me that all what has been said by
> himself previously will be left aside. The game was certainly not played
> with two different types of pieces.
> Concerning the website in question see a commentary under
> www.boardgamesstudies.org/research notes.
> About the game see the most detailed study on the subject: U. Schädler,
> Latrunculi, ein verlorenes strategisches Brettspiel der Römer, in: Homo
> Ludens IV, 1994, 47-67 with a complete discusssion of all the important
> literary and archaeological sources.
> Best
> Ulrich

Aha! The initial moves in this archaeological "game in progress"
doesn't make much sense, if rook moves are allowed. One shouldn't
waste moves with the strongest piece in this way in the opening phase.
The overly cautious soldier moves are tempo losses, too. So it's
probably not a game in progress.

Roger Cooper also made the conclusion that pieces move only one square
orthogonally, capture by interception, and that  pieces can leap
over adjacent pieces, even one's own.

However, he argues that there existed two different versions of Latrunculi,
one "civil" and one "military". In the former, which is the oldest, there exists
only one type of piece. In "Military Latrunculi," however, the king was
introduced. I took his article from his implementation for Zillions
and publish it temporarily here:


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