hist-games: alea evangelii

webmaster at historicgames.com webmaster at historicgames.com
Tue Aug 15 07:30:52 PDT 2006

Quoting Jane & Mark Waks <waks at comcast.net>:

> Damian Walker wrote:
>> Quoting Jane & Mark Waks's message of Saturday:
>>> We play it occasionally in the local SCA. I'm not especially good   
>>> at it myself (being a fairly weak strategist), but my friend who   
>>> *is* good at it has observed that it's mostly a matter of patient   
>>> strategy for the attacker to win, gradually boxing the defender in  
>>>  and not worrying too much about captures.
>> What rules do you play by?  This is one of those variants where no   
>> two people seem to agree on the rules, apart from those who just   
>> implement Murray's rules.
> Good question. As far as I can tell, the game was popularized in the
> SCA by Baron Sallamallah (Jeff DeLuca), through his book "Medieval
> Games". The description there is terse, basically saying that it's a
> large form of tablut -- which more or less follows Murray's lead. So
> while I'm not sure of the origin of the reconstruction (the book is a
> nice primer, but doesn't have bibliography or footnotes), it probably
> started from Murray.
> (Of course, within the SCA there's a fair amount of disagreement about
> the correct ruleset for this family of games. So there's a good deal of
> experimentation, even here...)
> 				-- Justin

According to David Parlett in his Oxford History of Board Games, An  
English manuscript from the reign of Athelstan (924-40) describes a  
form of Hnefatafl which it calls "alea evangelii." and if I remember,  
the manscript included a diagram of a 18 x 18 board with the pieces  
set on the intersections of the squares.

macGregor Historic Games

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