hist-games: Morris

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Mon Nov 28 22:49:40 PST 2005

Den 2005-11-28 20:27:49 skrev Jeanne Russell <nametaken at citlink.net>:

> Maybe it is just *that* simplicity:  Anyone could pick it up and learn
> it...adding their take on strategy.
> Jump rope has survived the ages, tag, ....what brain power do those
> "possess"?.
> And...maybe it is similiar to one stating today "Poker"....do we all think
> of a "draw" game?  Is there a whole lot of strategy or is it based on luck
> of the draw?
> Do all things have to be complicated in our past times?  Isn't life
> complicated enough?  Tic tac toe also has strategy...but can be played with
> very young children and shared between generations.
> Sorry, novice with no real advice or insight just reading along.
> jeanne

(It seems like many people press the wrong button when replying to
messenges so they are not sent to the group.)

I am beginning to suspect that they viewed this more as a ritual activity
than as game playing. The number three signifies the divine Trinity. To
accomplish three-in-a-row had a numinous quality. In ancient Egypt, too,
they worshipped a divine Trinity: Osiris-Isis-Horus. So I suspect that they
didn't bother about the game's triviality. They viewed it as prayer, a
method to aid concentration, and to bid the god to come nearer, while
the spirit is drawn to the game.

During the restoration of Hargrave Church (Northants) in 1869, such a
simple morris diagram was found on a stone built into the wall of the north
aisle. And it may be seen on a stone of the chancel arch at Singleton
(Sussex), and on a tombstone at Arbory in the Isle of Man.

So they didn't even need to play the game. The diagram, in itself, had a
sanctifying influence.


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