Scripta minora 12
Olle Ferm and Volker Honemann (eds.), Chess and Allegory in the Middle Ages (2005, 377 s.). 200 SEK.
The game of chess, which originated in India, reached Europe via the Arab world in the early Middle Ages, quickly becoming a cherished pastime, initially for the nobility, but it gradually took on in a wider social sphere. Since the individual pieces represented various components of feudal society, chess could easily be treated allegorically and applied to situations beyond the game itself. One of the best-known chess allegories was the “Liber de ludo Scaccorum” by Jacobus de Cessolis, a Dominican who was active in northern Italy in the early fourteenth century. The articles in this book treat several aspects of Jacobus’s Latin tract, which was translated into several vernacular languages throughout Europe.