hist-games: Plato

Mats Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Mon Feb 13 10:57:25 PST 2006

Den 2006-02-13 09:34:10 skrev <u.schaedler at museedujeu.com>:

> Plato does not "discuss" board games. He uses them sometimes to illustrate
> a certain aspect in his discussion.
> Look at:
> Laws 739a, 820c, 903d; Politeia II 374c, 487b; Eryxias 395 A-B; Hipparchus
> 220e
> He doesn't devaluate them, on the contrary, he speaks of skilful players.
> Best
> Ulrich

Thanks. Obviously he does not digress deeply into the theme of board games,
which is somewhat surprising as the subject matter is so very Pythagoreic/Platonic
by nature. I am now investigating a game which has received awards from Mensa,
and Games Magazine, and which, in my implementation, will be named
"Platonic Halma" because the pieces are reminiscent of Plato's and Pythagoras's
perfect mathematical Forms, that enter into Physis from their world of eternal Forms,
symbolized by the board's marginal squares. Plato was  the  "philosopher of love"
and as such he would probably have appreciated that the pieces cannot capture
each other. In this game the antique and medieval notion of the "four elements" are
reflected in the four types of pieces. Also the triangle, so important in Plato's thinking,
is represented. The original name of the game was Traverse. I am becoming more
and more interested in the symbolic qualities of games.


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