A soldier's board game: 'Ludus duodecim scripta'
Do you enjoy casting the dice as the old Romans did? Or what about falling in love with our Roman board game, as presented on pages of the Roman Shop under category ‘Museum shop’ and under ‘ideas for presents’ within the Roman section? This ancient Roman board game named ‘Duodecim scripta’ is also known under the name ‘Game of the twelve lines’. Its peak of popularity was during the imperial era of Roman history. On archaeological sites within the boundaries of the city they found a hundred remains of that board game alone! Speaking about the design, you may find similarities to modern Backgammon. While the ancient ones were often crafted from marble, our version is a wooden one and suits two players.
At times there was a prohibition upon sweepstakes and gambling over money in effect, so the board game was laid out as six words in Latin with six letters each, to which a philosophical meaning or ambiguity was attributed - thereby you could say it wasn’t a game at all and there was no way for authorities to subject such game to betting prohibition then…
‘Ludus duodecim scripta’ has a board size of 43 x 20 centimeters. Contents as follows:
- 2 Roman dice
- 30 tokens
- Mass. 30x20cm
- for players from 8 y.o.
- playing time about 20 minutes
Altogether we have 36 sections on the board for throwing out the 15 tokens of the opponent, while using the dice for that purpose. So let’s get started! Let the dice - same notorious famed ‘alea’ as in Caesars words ‘alea jacta est’ - roll and enjoy yourself in the company of your co-gamers at the outcome!
Ludus - the game
The game offered on these pages of the Roman Shop is a complete game set and two Roman dice alongside with 30 originally shaped tokens made of beautiful wood. The game design is executed just like the Roman soldier’s board game ‘Dudodecim scripta’ used to be - a favorite pastime in Roman times and played with or without bets. This game was known as ‘game of the twelve lines’ for obvious reasons and had its heyday in the imperial era. Contrary to other game designs the popularity of ‘Duodecim scripta’ did not lead to cheap manufacturing, the sophisticated examples in cut marble prevailed over more simple versions. It’s a hint this game was popular among the better-off Romans who could spend money on quality equipment.
You will find it practical for travel entertainment, because tokens and dice can be kept in a drawer under the board, while the board is not too big with its 30 x 20 centimeters. Players can handle the game flow well from 8 years of age. One session will last about 20 minutes. Have a look for yourself and let the ancient game entertain you as it did our ancestors many centuries ago.
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