rss_2.0Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies Feed Crux of the Cruciform: Retracing the Early History of Chaupar and Pachisi the Diffusion of<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Senet—perhaps the most famous of all the games of antiquity—has captured the imagination of scholars and lay people alike. Recognized as a game played by the Egyptians since the beginnings of archaeological research, and one of the first ancient games to be recognized outside of Greek and Roman texts, it has been one of the most discussed games of antiquity both in academia and in popular media. Nevertheless, understanding of this game remains incomplete. New evidence and more nuanced interpretations of old evidence continues to expand on our knowledge of senet. This paper seeks to correct some of the misconceptions about the game, which often seek to trace the development of later board games to senet. Furthermore, it aspires to encourage scholars from all disciplines who study games to critically reevaluate common conceptions of games relevant to their regions and time periods.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-27T00:00:00.000+00:00A Game on the Edge: An Attempt to Unravel the Gordian Knot of Games in the History of Mancala Games: Antiquity and Ubiquity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Mancala games are commonly defined by the appearance of the boards and mode of moving the pieces. The similarities have led to the belief that most mancala games are historically related or that they may be identified by appearances alone. Their ubiquity in Africa and their occurrence as graffiti boards on ancient monuments has created speculation about their antiquity. To this date their ancient status cannot be confirmed by archaeological or historical evidence. Based on today’s understanding, mancala games are of distinct kinds with separate histories while their antiquity goes back hundreds of years but not yet thousands.</p> <p>Mancala games have been instrumental in showing that so-called complex societies and the presence of board games are not necessarily related. By extension, state formation and the development of board games should not be connected based on the evidence of contemporary mancala gaming practices.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-04-27T00:00:00.000+00:00Some Misconceptions About Ancient Roman Games Review: Mitografii. Inventar al ezoterismelor românești References on The Commodity Exchange of Galaţi<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper represents a retrospective inquiry into Galati shipping, into the Commodity Exchange and into Galati commerce in general, starting in the 1850s until the beginning of the 20th century.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Landmarks in the Evolution of the Main Types of Banking Operations of Albina in Sibiu 1872-1946. I<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The 75 years history of Albina Bank reflects in its main characteristics that particularize it in the modern banking system the forms and crediting policies present in its statutes.</p> <p>The initial focus of the Albina Bank board was to activate a diverse palate of credit activities – in the first statute of the bank we can find no less than 15 types of loans. Few were actually accommodated, according to the possibilities of financing and also related to the social and economic background of the future debtors that came, the majority until 1918 from the rural areas. More so, the bank took into account the economic, financial and political context where the Romanian elite from Transylvania activated. Thus, in the first period of activity of the Albina bank its board will activate the most mobile types of crediting (credit of input and lending with public collaterals) wanting to increase the funding sources which are the main focus on the first part on an extended study.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00The Letter Exchange on the Romanian Front during the First World War<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Letters, unusual postcards, censored, illustrate the mood on the front, conveyed by two participants to the world’s first conflagration. The first letter, dated October 26, 1916, belongs to Lieutenant D. Stoica, commander of the Second Section Telegraph. A simple letter, which expresses much optimism, sent to his wife Ionela, two months after Romania’s entry into the national reunification war, accompanied by his portrait. The second letter, dated 1918, is more intense in terms of experiences, sent to a lady named Marie Ionescu, by a Romanian wounded during the battles. The letter, from the stamp that only marks the year 1918, could be dated approximately after November this year. The militant was in convalescence in a camp hospital, waiting to be resent on the front.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Book Review: Bizantinii. Stat, religie și viață cotidiană în Imperiul Bizantin Review: Mărturia unui istoric singuratic. Convorbiri cu academicianul Dinu C. Giurescu Establishment of Târgu Mureș Branch of „Albina” Bank and the Relationships with its Headquarters in Sibiu (1919-1928)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A close look at the minutes of the Administration Council, a governing body of the „Albina” Bank in Sibiu, reveals various aspects, as important as they are interesting, regarding the activity of the Târgu Mureș branch (one of the most important branches that began its activity before the pre-war period - 1st May 1910).</p> <p>After Transylvania was included in the Romanian Unitary National State, the entire economic life experienced a revival. In this context, „Albina”’s Târgu Mureș branch increased its turnorver beeing able to compete with the local credit institutions in the county, including the Saxon and Hungarian ones. However, the lack of liquidity on the financial markets, which threatened the well being of entire banking system, directly affected the branch starting with 1927/28. The examples found in archives and presented in this article emphasize a gradual decrease in the number of loans granted by the bank and the crippling effect on the local economy. Different types of loans are being explained and presented offering a vivid image of the inhabitants of the area, their nationality, their field of activity, which was directly linked with their financial abilities.</p> <p>Some interesting, however controversial, aspects are being highlighted regarding the unorthodox practices of the personnel, the bold decisions of the director of the branch that were not exactly in the line with the code of conduct and the ethos promoted by „Albina”’s Headquarters in Sibiu.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00The Incomes and Expenses of the Castle Demesne of Bran at the Beginning of the 16th Century<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper I analyze the medieval incomes and expenses of the castle domain of Bran (in Hungarian: Törcsvár, in German: Törzburg), compound of the castle itself and nine surrounding villages, situated in the Southeastern corner of Transylvania. The main sources of this investigation are the demesne’s remained medieval financial accounts, covering the years 1504–1513 and 1522–1526; charters referring to the domain remained only in small numbers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Book Review: Reconstituire cronologică „Versus/Cohabiting with” the Transylvanian Saxons in Bistrița during the Interwar Period<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The author analyses the evolution of the relations between Romanians and Transylvanian Saxons in Bistrița during the interwar period (1918-1940).</p> <p>The approach is based on his studies on administration, economics and education, which facilitated the act of writing this historical synthesis.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Book Review: Pe câmpul de onoare. O istorie a duelului la români“”. Roman Republican Cavalry Tactics in the 3rd-2nd Centuries Bc<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>One of the most interesting periods in the history of the Roman cavalry were the Punic wars. Many historians believe that during these conflicts the ill fame of the Roman cavalry was founded but, as it can be observed it was not the determination that lacked. The main issue is the presence of the political factor who decided in the main battles of this conflict. The present paper has as aim to outline a few aspects of how the Roman mid-republican cavalry met these odds and how they tried to incline the balance in their favor.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-05-26T00:00:00.000+00:00The Game of the Sphere or of the Universe — a Spiral Race Game from 17th century France<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Simple race games, played with dice and without choice of move, are known from antiquity. In the late 16th century, specific examples of this class of game emerged from Italy and spread rapidly into other countries of Europe. Pre-eminent was the Game of the Goose, which spawned thousands of variants over the succeeding centuries to the present day, including educational, polemical and promotional variants.<xref ref-type="fn" rid="j_bgs-2016-0001_fn_001_w2aab2b8b7b1b7b1ab1aaAa"><sup>1</sup></xref></p><p>The educational variants began as a French invention of the 17th century, the earliest of known date being a game to teach Geography, the Jeu du Monde by Pierre Duval, published in 1645. By the end of the century, games designed to teach several of the other accomplishments required of the noble cadet class had been developed: History, the Arts of War, and Heraldry being notable among them.</p><p>A remarkable example of a game within this class is the astronomical game, Le Jeu de la Sphere ou de l’Univers selon Tycho Brahe, published in 1661 by E(s)tienne Vouillemont in Paris. The present paper analyses this game in detail, showing how it combines four kinds of knowledge systems: natural philosophy, based on the Ptolemaic sphere; biblical knowledge; astrology, with planetary and zodiacal influences; and classical knowledge embodied in the names of the constellations. The game not only presents all four on an equal footing but also explores links between them, indicating some acceptance of an overall knowledge-system. Despite the title, there is no evidence of the Tychonian scheme for planetary motion, nor of any Copernican or Galilean influence.</p><p>This game is to be contrasted with medieval race games, based on numerology and symbolism, and with race games towards the end of the Early Modern period in which science is fully accepted.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2016-09-29T00:00:00.000+00:00Four-king chess with dice is neither unrealistic nor messed up<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p><italic>Kauṭilya</italic>’s <italic>maṇḍala</italic> model has intrigued indologists and political scientists for some time. It deals with friendship and enmity between countries that are direct or indirect neighbours. (Ghosh; 1936) suggests a close relationship between this model and Indian four-king chess. We try to corroborate his claim by presenting a stylized game-theory model of both Indian four-king chess and <italic>Kauṭilya</italic>’s <italic>maṇḍala</italic> theory. Within that game model, we can deal with <italic>Kauṭilya</italic>’s conjecture according to which an enemy’s enemy is likely to be one’s friend. Arguably, this conjecture is reflected in the ally structure of four-king chess. We also comment on the widespread disapproval of dice in (four-king) chess.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2016-09-29T00:00:00.000+00:00Board to Page to Board<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The ways new games typically develop might be viewed as a continuum ranging from very gradual “evolution” based on mutations introduced to a single progenitor during play or recall, to sudden “intelligent design” based on a purposeful and original combination — or even invention — of ludemes independent of any particular lines of transmission.</p><p>This paper argues that two proprietary 20th-century games, C.A. Neves’s Fang den Hut! and Lizzie Magie’s The Landlord’s Game, were developed in a different way, a bit outside the typical continuum. It analyzes the games’ general typologies, and specific ludemes, concluding that both games are modern adaptations of traditional Native American games encountered, not through play or even contact with players, but through the seminal ethnographic publications of Stewart Culin. Specifically, Fang den Hut! derives from Boolik via <italic>Games of the North American Indians</italic>, and The Landlord’s Game derives from Zohn Ahl via <italic>Chess and Playing-Cards</italic>.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2016-09-29T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1