Barcelona 2002 Colloquium

--{ Barcelona 2002 }--

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Board Games in Academia V


Ulrich Schädler

A contribution to the history of Backgammon from a non-indological point of view

While the origin of Chess has been and is still being discussed in hundreds of publications, the history of Backgammon, one of the most popular boardgames around the world, has not yet been written. In 1995 the author himself collected and discussed the ancient Roman litera-ry and archaeological sources, while Koichi Masukawa has recently summarized the evidence from Japan. The history of the game especially in China and Persia doesn't seem to have been thoroughly studied. Based on the so-called Manasollasa manuscript and on depictions of board games in Indian art, but completely ignoring the evidence of other regions and cultures, Renate Syed in 1994 argued for an Indian origin of the game. By discussing the Indian evidence once again and comparing it to non-Indian sources the paper will discard the Indian claim and come to different conclusions.

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