hist-games: XIIIth century games

SEDWilkins at aol.com SEDWilkins at aol.com
Tue Jun 24 20:16:40 PDT 2008

In a message dated 6/24/2008 6:08:38 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
jon at gothicgreenoak.co.uk writes:

>>I agree Rithmomachy  / Rithmomachia  (someone who knows please send a 
message) would only have been played by the  educated, and numerate at that. <<

I believe either form is correct. Spelling wasn't regularized until the  
eighteenth century, and you have the Latin/English variation besides.
    >>However for an  early medieval game it has survived well so must have 
been played by a  sufficient number of the educated and numerate over the past 
centuries for the  rules to have survived<<
I wonder how much more numerate our ancestors were than we are? As with the  
ability to memorize and recite lengthy chronicles or forecast the weather from 
 the behavior of leaves and birds, I suspect this is a skill that fades 
fairly  rapidly with disuse. (Having said that, I have to admit that Rithmomachia 
relies  upon some math that is certainly not used in any daily living activity 
that I  engage in, with or without calculator or abacus. . . .)
    >>( also, I make it  and it sells well !)<<
This is wonderful.  It would be interesting to know how  many people actually 
play it more than once? (I own the Star Trek chess  game--it's lovely but I 
think it's been played twice since I bought it. . .  .)

Sally  Wilkins

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