Medieval Death Trip

A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

MDT Ep. 61: Concerning the Invention of Chess

We kick off a holiday miniseries of chess lore from William Caxton’s The Game and the Playe of the Chesse with one version of how chess was invented. We then some historical corrections to this account and also hear one of the earliest written accounts of chess, the Persian Chatrang-namak.
Today’s Texts:

References:

  • Axon, William E.A. Introduction. Caxton’s Game and Play of the Chesse, Elliot Stock, 1883, pp. ix-lxxii. Google Books.
  • Crist, Walter, et al. “Facilitating Interaction: Board Games as Social Lubricants in the Ancient Near East.” Oxford Journal of Archaeology, vol. 35, no. 2, May 2016, pp. 179–196. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ojoa.12084.
  • Eales, Richard. “Changing Cultures: The Reception of Chess into Western Europe in the Middle Ages.” Ancient Board Games in Perspective: Papers from the 1990 British Museum Colloquium, With Additional Contributions, edited by I.L. Finkel, British Museum Press, 2007, pp. 162-168.
  • Mark, Michael. “The Beginnings of Chess.” Ancient Board Games in Perspective: Papers from the 1990 British Museum Colloquium, With Additional Contributions, edited by I.L. Finkel, British Museum Press, 2007, pp. 138-157.
  • Murray, H.J.R. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Clarendon Press, 1952.
  • Simpson, St John. “Homo Ludens: The Earliest Board Games in the Near East.” Ancient Board Games in Perspective: Papers from the 1990 British Museum Colloquium, With Additional Contributions, edited by I.L. Finkel, British Museum Press, 2007, pp. 5-10.

1 Comment

  1. You mentioned recommending boardgames. I have one to recommend to you if you haven’t yet played: Fief: France 1429. It’s an excellent simulation of the feudal system in Medieval France.

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