Rithmomachia - leather board with hand-painted pieces
Circular leather pouch, with leather drawstring
Rithmomachia, or The Philosopher's Game
A mathematical game based on the theory of numbers
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This is not a game for the faint-hearted. Rithmomachia means battle of numbers and is played between two players on a 8 x 16 chequered or undifferentiated board with square, triangular and circular pieces each with a numerical value. The aim of Rithmomachia is for each player to move his or her pieces in such a way as to create arithmetic, geometric or harmonic progressions. Pieces are captured by forming mathematical equations in particular formations on the board. Play requires an ability to apply (relatively) simple maths, and winning requires an understanding of number progressions, or at least an ability to remember them or look them up in the tables supplied with the game. If you enjoy a (mathematical) challenge and feel the need to get inside the medieval mathematician's mind then this could be the game for you.
Probably invented in one of the monastery schools in southern Germany in the eleventh century, it had reached Britain by the twelfth. The game reached its peak in the fourteenth century, after which it slowly gave way to chess. It remained a game of interest to the educated into the Tudor period, and only finally disappeared in the eighteenth century.
57 hand painted pieces (20 triangles 19 rounds, 18 squares) in a leather pouch, with leather board and full rules supplied. Includes two sets of tables of arithmetic, geometric and harmonic progressions.
Leather board 25" x 13"
57 playing pieces painted with Tudor-style numerals
Pieces supplied in a drawstring leather pouch
Comes with full rules and a handy guide to arithmetic, geometric and harmonic progressions for each player
Historic Period or Date:
c.11th to 16th century; persisting until the 18th century