Chess in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age A Fundamental Thought Paradigm of the Premodern World FMC (Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture)

Chess in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age A Fundamental Thought Paradigm of the Premodern World FMC (Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture)

Language: English

Pages: 275

ISBN: 3110288516

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The game of chess was wildly popular in the Middle Ages, so much so that it became an important thought paradigm for thinkers and writers who utilized its vocabulary and imagery for commentaries on war, politics, love, and the social order. In this collection of essays, scholars investigate chess texts from numerous traditions - English, French, German, Latin, Persian, Spanish, Swedish, and Catalan - and argue that knowledge of chess is essential to understanding medieval culture. Such knowledge, however, cannot rely on the modern game, for today´s rules were not developed until the late fifteenth century. Only through familiarity with earlier incarnations of the game can one fully appreciate the full import of chess to medieval society. The careful scholarship contained in this volume provides not only insight into the significance of chess in medieval European culture but also opens up avenues of inquiry for future work in this rich field.

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exchequer, not the laws of arithmetic.” 76 Despite this, however, almost all scholars of the Exchequer table have referred to it as an abacus, and several have searched for the innovation of its use with the introduction of the abacus into England. 77 Yet, if the Exchequer board had been based on the abacus, why would Richard have ignored this point? 78 It seems possible that Richard really did think that the Exchequer board was conceptually linked to the game of chess. The Exchequer board was a

explain such things.” 100 As illustrative as his work is, Richard does not give away all the tricks of the trade. The audience, whoever they may have been, 101 was told what they needed to know—the process of audit should be thought of as a chess match in which the rules could 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 The prevailing view is perhaps best expressed by W. L. Warren: “It was a turning point in the history of the office: thereafter the sheriff’s capacity to act at his own discretion was to be

the list of the Top 10 Junior High Players, of which none are female. The list of Top 10 Elementary School Players also has no female names. The Top 10 CIS College Bound Players list has two girls on it. On bans against the game, see Murray, A History of Chess, 441 (see his note 66). 114 Jenny Adams intellectual development. I will further contend that these changes in the game’s symbolic valences began to change at the same time that education itself was, in the early thirteenth century,

men, and the overwhelming stereotype is that men are inherently better chess players. As noted on many an amateur blog, men are better chess players because 50 51 Science, and Culture. Cambridge History of Medecine (Cambridge, New York, et al.: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 121. See Dylan Loeb McClain, “Where’s the Real Action Now? In the Nation’s School Rooms,” New York Times, May 20, 2007,, last accessed March 15, 2011.

March 15, 2011). 134 Jenny Adams their brains are “wired differently.” 52 The very publication of Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport, a depiction of the way women are “successfully knocking down the doors to this traditionally male game, infiltrating the male-owned sporting subculture of international chess, and giving the phrase ‘play like a girl’ a whole new meaning” captures both the way chess is conceived of as not only an intellectual exercise of men along—otherwise,

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