Tabula, or Zeno's Game - the Roman origins of backgammon
The earliest reconstructed direct ancestor of backgammon - a fast-moving and strategic game
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Tabula is the name the Romans gave to both a game board and a range of games - the very earliest ancestors of backgammon. When the Emperor Zeno played one of these games in AD 480 he threw dice which gave him such a score that he believed he could not possibly win. He was so upset that he put stylus to wax tablet to record the event. The game has been reconstructed from his writings.
This ancient ancestor of backgammon is a fast moving and strategic game for two players. Comprising a leather board, wooden counters, and three wooden dice.
All games come with historic notes and full rules
Two players enter one to three men at a time on the board on the roll of three dice
Players enter and leave the board together, racing round the board to the end
The winner is the first player to get all their men off the end of the board
Leaving the board can be tricky - an exact throw of the dice is needed!
And beware - any lone man, or 'blot', can (and probably will!) be captured and sent back to the start...