Nine Men's Morris and Alquerque Ancient Board Games, Crusaders vs Saracen Arabs, Wooden Board and Pieces, Hand Painted, Double Sided

$120.00

Rare find — there's only 1 of these in stock.

Item details

Handmade

Materials

Maple, Linden, Wood

A wooden board game with two ancient games: Nine Men's Morris and Alquerque (Qirkat). The playing pieces are Crusaders vs ancient Saracen Arabs, both from the Middle Ages. The board is double sided and is made from a single piece of solid Maple. The pieces are hand made from Linden wood and hand painted.

What's included in the set:

1) Double sided wooden playing board with Nine Men's Morris on one side and Alquerque on the other side.
2) 12 Crusaders pieces and 12 Saracen Arabs pieces
3) Playing Instructions for both games
4) Cotton cloth bag for the pieces
5) Cotton cloth napkin to put underneath the board.

About Nine Men's Morris:

Nine Men’s Morris is an ancient game, popular in Ancient Rome and the medieval period. No one really knows where and when the game originated. The oldest building that has a Nine Men’s Morris board carved into its stones is an Egyptian temple at Kurna, Egypt, which dates to roughly 1400 BCE. However, it is not known when the game board itself was carved into the Kurna temple’s roofing slabs; was it at the time of the construction or much later in history. There are many Nine Men’s Morris carved into various buildings’ stones through out the Roman Empire and in the seats of many medieval cathedrals.

This game is known by many names, such as Mill or Windmill, most probably, because the shape of the board looks like a windmill, and Merrels, from the Latin word merellus, which means “gaming piece”. The name Nine Men’s Morris seems to have been originated by Shakespeare in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act II, Scene I), in which Titania refers to such a board by saying, “The nine men’s morris is filled up with mud”.

The rules of the game are well known, mostly because the game has been played continuously in Europe since the Roman period.

About Alquerque:

Alquerque, also known as Qirkat, by its Arabic name, is an ancient game with unclear origin. Most surviving examples are from the medieval period. The oldest building that has Alquerque carved into its stone floor is the Church of the Condemnation in Jerusalem, Israel. The stones on which it is carved are from the 2nd century CE and were originally used by the Romans as street pavement, and then later incorporated into the church’s floor. However, the date of the carving itself is not clear. According to the sign in the Church of the Condemnation itself the carving dates to the Roman period, the same as the stones. However, most historians think that the carving was really made during the medieval period by a crusader from Europe, more specifically from Spain or France, where most believe the game originated.

The rules for Alquerque were preserved for us in a medieval book commissioned by the king of Castile, Galicia and León, Alfonso X, in Toledo, Spain, in 1283, called Libro De Los Juegos, the Book of Games. Due to its similarity with checkers or draughts and Fanorona from Madagascar, it is considered to be a parent of all of those games.
A wooden board game with two ancient games: Nine Men's Morris and Alquerque (Qirkat). The playing pieces are Crusaders vs ancient Saracen Arabs, both from the Middle Ages. The board is double sided and is made from a single piece of solid Maple. The pieces are hand made from Linden wood and hand painted.

What's included in the set:

1) Double sided wooden playing board with Nine Men's Morris on one side and Alquerque on the other side.
2) 12 Crusaders pieces and 12 Saracen Arabs pieces
3) Playing Instructions for both games
4) Cotton cloth bag for the pieces
5) Cotton cloth napkin to put underneath the board.

About Nine Men's Morris:

Nine Men’s Morris is an ancient game, popular in Ancient Rome and the medieval period. No one really knows where and when the game originated. The oldest building that has a Nine Men’s Morris board carved into its stones is an Egyptian temple at Kurna, Egypt, which dates to roughly 1400 BCE. However, it is not known when the game board itself was carved into the Kurna temple’s roofing slabs; was it at the time of the construction or much later in history. There are many Nine Men’s Morris carved into various buildings’ stones through out the Roman Empire and in the seats of many medieval cathedrals.

This game is known by many names, such as Mill or Windmill, most probably, because the shape of the board looks like a windmill, and Merrels, from the Latin word merellus, which means “gaming piece”. The name Nine Men’s Morris seems to have been originated by Shakespeare in his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act II, Scene I), in which Titania refers to such a board by saying, “The nine men’s morris is filled up with mud”.

The rules of the game are well known, mostly because the game has been played continuously in Europe since the Roman period.

About Alquerque:

Alquerque, also known as Qirkat, by its Arabic name, is an ancient game with unclear origin. Most surviving examples are from the medieval period. The oldest building that has Alquerque carved into its stone floor is the Church of the Condemnation in Jerusalem, Israel. The stones on which it is carved are from the 2nd century CE and were originally used by the Romans as street pavement, and then later incorporated into the church’s floor. However, the date of the carving itself is not clear. According to the sign in the Church of the Condemnation itself the carving dates to the Roman period, the same as the stones. However, most historians think that the carving was really made during the medieval period by a crusader from Europe, more specifically from Spain or France, where most believe the game originated.

The rules for Alquerque were preserved for us in a medieval book commissioned by the king of Castile, Galicia and León, Alfonso X, in Toledo, Spain, in 1283, called Libro De Los Juegos, the Book of Games. Due to its similarity with checkers or draughts and Fanorona from Madagascar, it is considered to be a parent of all of those games.

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Eli Gurevich

Eli Gurevich

Chandler, Arizona

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