hist-games: RE : Ludus Lumbardorum

reid robert reidrobert7 at yahoo.fr
Fri Feb 23 11:39:07 PST 2007

Dear Huck,
  Many thanks for your message and for putting in the link. I derived the rules for Ludus Lombardorum from a transcription of a fourteenth-century English manuscript written in Latin and published in the book by Fiske cited at the foot of my piece on the game. The writer describes eight tables games. The first is a game which is more or less identical to the Emperador of the Alphonso manuscript, but here it is called ‘Ludus Anglicorum’ (The Game of the English) and it is made very clear that it was the common form of tables in England at the time. Ludus Lumbardorum is the third game dealt with and the description is consistent with Alphonso’s Medio Emperador, although the English account is fuller and contains details not found in Alphonso, even a little advice on play!
  These two games stand out from the rest in the English manuscript in having ‘national’ names. It may be that this was simply the writer’s personal way of defining them and that Ludus Lumbardorum (The Lombards’ Game) was therefore called something quite different in its native Lombardy!  If the game was the common form in that region, they might, I suppose, have made special twelve-point boards to play it on, rather than playing on only half a twenty-four-point board. Any evidence of such mini-boards would be fairly convincing proof of the game.
  As for the Emperor dimension: this is entirely missing in the English descriptions. In Alphonso Medio Emperador is simply presented as Emperador cut in half. In the English manuscript it is presented as a quite separate game and no attempt is made to link it with the larger game.
  Beyond that, I can’t say much more. I thought LL was worth describing partly because it is one of the more lucid descriptions in the manuscript and partly because I was surprised that a game played on such a small board could still provide strategic interest.
  All the best,

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Today's Topics:

1. Re: Ludus Lombardorum (Reid Robert) (Huck Meyer)


Message: 1
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 11:32:42 -0800 (PST)
From: Huck Meyer 
Subject: Re: hist-games: Ludus Lombardorum (Reid Robert)
To: hist-games at www.pbm.com
Message-ID: <679298.69725.qm at web33311.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Hi Robert,

We were interested in your page


to the Ludus Lumbardum and we're interested to hear more about it, especially why and how it got the name Ludus Lombardum ... was it played in Lombardy once?

We made a page to your note at


Our interest is raised, cause there were a card game "Imperatori" at the begin of 15th century in Northern Italy and we wonder about a possible relation to the Spanish table game Emperador or El Medio Emperador. 



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