hist-games: re Daldos
jon at gothic green oak
jon at gothicgreenoak.co.uk
Tue Mar 30 07:56:19 PDT 2010
The Mary Rose report states that a similar board with 22 rows occurs on
a 13th C coffin lid from Holy Trinity Church, Little Woolstone,
Buckinghamshite (alongside 9 and 3 men's morris boards). Croft (1987)
Graffiti Gaming Boards. Finds Research Group 700-1700. Datasheet 6 is cited.
Could someone who has access to this confirm ?
Gothic Green Oak
I was interested to read Ian Levingston's identification of a Daldos
board scratched into a barrel top salvaged from the Mary Rose:
As he points out, this would appear to be the second instance of a board
from England, if one accepts that a drawing in a thirteenth-century
manuscript held at Trinity College also depicts a diagram for this type
Thierry Depaulis ('An Arab game in the North Pole?', Board Game Studies,
4, 2001, pp. 77-82 ) concludes that the component Dal- in Daldos
'may be explained in the light of an old English word daly whose meaning
was “knucklebone”, “small piece of bone”, whence “die”'. Alternatively
one could suggest the English word 'tally' - a wooden stick notched or
'scored' to keep a record of commercal transactions and game points.
'Tally-dice', in fact, would neatly characterise the two implements used
in Daldos, while approximating phonetically to the Norwegian name.
If the game did indeed have some foothold in the British Isles it may be
that there are other yet-to-be-identified examples of Daldos-type
boards (among Cathedral cloister etchings, for instance) as well as
references in regional glossaries, dialect dictionaries etc. Now, at
least we have a reason to be on the look-out for these!
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