Enneadi of Ancient Epidaurus
«War is the father and king of all.» – Heraclitus
In ancient Greece, a well-known strategy board game was “Enneadi” (“Εννεάδαι” in ancient Greek). During a round, two players (“πεσευτές”) came into battle with an army of nine pieces each. A draw determined who will move first and upon this turn of luck, a very interesting strategy was unfolded by both players.
According to many modern historians, Enneadi is an undisputable ancient Greek invention whose origins are lost in the depths of time. Some very early references support that it was played during the Trojan War, both by famous and less-known soldiers. It was found engraved in many archaeological sites in Greece and abroad, such as the Great Propylea at the Sanctuary of Eleusis and the ancient Epidaurus. They are dated back to the classical and pre-classical times.
Enneadi was such a beloved board game that it managed to survive up to the Middle Ages when it became one of the most popular games along with backgammon and chess.
award-winning board games to sharpen your mind
originated in ancient Greece
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based on archaeological evidence
^ Αττικός αμφορέας που απεικονίζει τον Αχιλλέα και τον Αίαντα να παίζουν ένα επιτραπέζιο παιχνίδι στρατηγικής κατά τη διάρκεια του Τρωικού Πολέμου. Ο κεραμικός αμφορέας είναι του 530 π.Χ. και σήμερα εκτίθεται στο Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, στο Βατικανό.
< Αττικός αμφορέας που απεικονίζει τον Αχιλλέα και τον Αίαντα να παίζουν ένα επιτραπέζιο παιχνίδι στρατηγικής κατά τη διάρκεια του Τρωικού Πολέμου. Ο κεραμικός αμφορέας είναι του 530 π.Χ. και σήμερα εκτίθεται στο Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, στο Βατικανό.
Bringing Ancient Artifacts to the 21st century
In the world of Classical Greece, War and Rhetoric (in the sense of political confrontation) were considered the ideal fields to practice virtue and sharp your mind.
No matter if you were the offspring of a eupatrid (member of the nobility of ancient Athens, or the child of a farmer, the Greeks had the opportunity to stand out for their ability to win "battles" and lead. In this endeavor, strategic thinking was the most valuable asset.
This is why ancient Greeks designed a series of highly educational board games, through which the youngsters sharpened their minds and developed critical thinking. It is no coincidence that Lysimachus, tutor of Alexander the Great, devised a game for the latter to practice. He was encouraged to play the role of Achilles, and the latter gradually became an archetypal figure (that of the "noble warrior") in the youthful mind of Alexander the Great. What Alexander the Great did next is well-known all over the world.
Brouwers, Josho (2020). Ancient Greek heroes at play, Ancient World Magazine.
Kowalski, Wladyslaw. (2004). Board Games of the Ancient World. P Art and Culture. Autumn. 2-25.
Kurke, L. (1999). Ancient Greek Board Games and How to Play Them. Classical Philology, 94(3), 247-267.
Metcalfe, Tom (2018). 16 of the Most Interesting Ancient Board and Dice Games, Live Science.
Schädler, Ulrich. (2009). Pente grammai -- the ancient Greek board game Five Lines.
Woods, Stewart (2012). Eurogames: The Design, Culture, and Play of Modern European Board Games. p. 17. ISBN 9780786490653.
Λάζος, Χρήστος Δ. (2002). Παίζοντας στο χρόνο: αρχαιοελληνικά και βυζαντινά παιχνίδια 1700 π.Χ.-1500 μ.Χ., Εκδόσεις Αίολος.
Plato. The Republic, written around 375 B.C.
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A 39 x 5.5 cm cylinder package made of recycled material, 26 pillars (or pieces) made of cherry and linden wood, board game made of canvas, wooden "λάχνισμα" (a type of ancient dice), a pouch made of knitted linen, game rules printed on recycled paper.
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Made mainly with materials available during antiquity such as cherry and linden wood for the pieces, paper for game rules, canvas for the boards, hand knitted linen for the pouches, et cetera.
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Enneadi of Ancient Epidaurus