Ancient Game Boards

This page offers some humorous evidence that HipBone Games have been played at least as far back as mediaeval and renaissance times…

Charles Cameron

It's just a little shocking to realize that the HipBones Games have been around a long, long time. Early Games may have been scribbled in the sands, but the earliest historical Game (ie: Game of which a record survives) is probably this one, seemingly played by the Holy Trinity in heaven during mediaeval times:

Holy Trinity Board

Here is another early board, this one from Oronce Fine, De sphaera mundi, 1542.

Oronce Fine's De sphaera mundi Board

And here's Sir Thomas Browne's Quincunx Board:

Sir Thomas Browne's Quincunx Board

This quincunx is taken from the frontispiece to Browne's The Garden of Cyrus, and the quotation from Quintillian, VIII, iii, 9 reads:

What is more beautiful than the well-known quincunx which, in whatever direction you view it, presents straight lines?

Finally, HipBone's TenStones board derives its geometry from the Tree of Life diagram used in the Jewish meditative system of classical Kabbalah.

Athanasius Kircher's version of this “Sephirotic Tree” illustrates the complexity with which graphs and diagrams of this sort have been used in various mystical circles – though the Tree's original meaning is perhaps best left to the minds and hearts of the tzaddikim…

Warning: this last link to Kircher's will take you outside the HipBone Games site, into the wider delights of the web as a whole.

Charles Cameron

HipBone Games rules, boards, sample games and other materials are copyright © Charles Cameron 1995, 96, 97.
See Concerning Copyright for full copyright details.