hist-games: XIIIth century games

David Parish-Whittaker davidparishwhittaker at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 23 13:36:51 PDT 2008

Oh, don't forget Alphonso X's book of games, also from the 13th century (I think Mark Waks posted the latest link to a translation just a few weeks back, didn't he?), including the rules for the above mentioned al'zahr.

From: SEDWilkins at aol.com
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:10:10 -0400
To: hist-games at www.pbm.com
Subject: Re: hist-games: XIIIth century games

By the XIII century you'd have mancala variations in the middle east. 
Tables in Europe and Nardshir in Persia will be variations on our familiar 
backgammon. Merrils in Europe are qirq in the Middle East. Dice/astragals are 
al'zahr in Arabic. Tab was popular throughout the Arab world (note 
that Islam's prohibition of gambling will effect regional differences). 
Alquerque/al'qirkat yes (it came into Europe from the Middle East) and shatranj, 
as well-but no draughts/checkers yet except in France. Bowls/boules 
and quilles, quoit, tilting, sadw which was a 
nut-pitching game.
In a message dated 6/23/2008 8:56:58 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, 
piotr.adamczyk at muzeum.elblag.pl writes:
Any idea what kind of games culd crusaders (or generally in 
  Europe and Middle East) play in the XIII th century? Bowls, board games 
  etc. Alquerque could be, some kind of bowling maybe (I've seen a small icon 
  witha painting where two people are tossing balls on a small wodden pyramids 
  standing before oponents legs)...


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